30 Jul 2010

My Tennessee Fire is well and truly lit

Jim James

If you follow me on Twitter, you would’ve noticed me raving about My Morning Jacket like a rabid dog during the last week or so and this is me completing the cycle. Jim James is one of my favourite songwriters at the moment. He writes straight, to the point and using his Kentucky charm, delivers his music with a distinct southern flavour.

My Morning Jacket delivers blows of anxiety and heartbreak that are wrapped in gentle vocals, tons of reverb and haunted atmospheres, all in all, a fantastic package. James is the main songwriter of the Louisville outfit and I like to think of him as a modern day Neil Young.

He delivers his vocals with control, poise and really hits the high notes. He doesn’t muck about when it comes to those high notes. As girly as the falsettos may be, James compensates for this by playing his Flying V and generally looking like one of the Hell’s Angels from Hunter S Thompson’s novel. Mostly because of his huge beard, or handle bar moustache or whatever facial hair he is in the mood to rock that week.

I know that My Morning Jacket isn’t for everyone, but it sure is for me. I think they are one of the most original and refreshing bands currently releasing albums. Check out their double live album, Okonokos, it is one of the best live sets I’ve heard captured on record and when My Morning Jacket play live, the calmness disappears, the layers are stripped and James thrives in the spotlight.

Delivering the songs that you can almost determine which instrument it was written on. Their albums are very well produced and because of the contrast they offer when playing live, My Morning Jacket are truly the complete package.

People use the term “saviours of rock and roll” far too loosely in my opinion, because there is no need for rock and roll to be saved, it’s doing just fine. However, if anyone deserved some sort of “Hey, you guys are just the tits!” award, I would have to give it to My Morning Jacket. They’ve made country / folk music something special, something complex and memorable and if you can, listen to “It Still Moves”. It will move you.


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