My Morning Jacket is an American rock band formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1998. The band currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Jim James, bassist Tom Blankenship, drummer Patrick Hallahan, guitarist Carl Broemel, and keyboardist Bo Koster. The band's sound, rooted in rock and country, is often experimental and psychedelic. The group amassed a following beginning in the 2000s in part due to their live performances.
The group first found success in Europe after the release of its debut album, The Tennessee Fire (1999). Its next release, At Dawn (2001), led to a large stateside following and preceded several lineup changes. After signing to major label ATO Records, the group released two albums, It Still Moves (2003) and Z (2005), with the latter representing a critical breakthrough. The group's next release, Evil Urges (2008), was more polarizing for fans and critics, while Circuital (2011), its sixth album, saw a more measured response. After many years of side projects and touring, the band's seventh album, The Waterfall, was released in 2015.
Formation and debut releases (1998-2000)
My Morning Jacket was formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1998 by singer-songwriter Jim James. James created the group as an outlet for acoustic songs he had developed on his own that his band at the time, Month of Sundays, could not use. The group's first lineup included his cousin, Johnny Quaid (guitar), Tom Blankenship (bass), and J. Glenn on drums, all formerly of Shelbyville-based emo-punk band Winter Death Club. The band's name stems from James, who once found a discarded coat with the emblazoned letters MMJ.
The band's debut album, The Tennessee Fire, was released in May 1999. It was mildly successful in the U.S., though it became a surprise hit internationally, particularly in the Lower countries of the Netherlands and Belgium. Soon, the group launched a European tour, where it received high marks from Dutch and Belgian press; the group also appeared in the Dutch documentary, This is NOT America. Danny Cash joined the band as keyboardist in 2000.
Early years and breakthrough (2001-2007)
The band's sophomore effort, At Dawn (2001), helped grow the group's fanbase in its home country. For the album, James recorded his vocals in a grain silo, creating a sound heavy on echo that became a hallmark of the band's early releases. Subsequently, drummer J. Glenn left the band, and was briefly replaced by Chris Guetig. Patrick Hallahan, James' childhood best friend, replaced Guetig. In the early 2000s, the band toured heavily, often supporting bands such as Guided by Voices, Doves, and Foo Fighters. The group signed to independent label ATO Records in 2002 ahead of its third album, It Still Moves, which saw release in September 2003 to wide acclaim. In January 2004, Cash and Quaid announced their departure from the group; they were replaced by keyboardist Bo Koster and guitarist Carl Broemel.
Z, released in 2005, became the group's breakthrough album. It received highly positive critical reviews; in his review for Rolling Stone, veteran critic David Fricke wrote, "America is a lot closer to getting its own Radiohead, and it isn't Wilco." The album was noticeable for a break from James' heavily reverbed vocals, and featured experimentation with dub, reggae and psychedelic rock.Okonokos, a live album captured while the band toured Z, was released in 2006.
The band's four-hour late-night set in the rain at Bonnaroo 2008
has been regarded among their best performances.
Shift in sound (2008-2013)
The band's next release, Evil Urges, marked a considerable shift in their sound; it received polarizing reactions from fans and critics. Many songs on the album developed on 90-minute walks James would embark on in Louisville; its lyrics centered on a relationship that fell apart shortly before recording. To promote the album, the band appeared on Saturday Night Live. The band toured in support of the record that summer, which included a storied appearance at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. The band, beginning at midnight, performed for four hours in the rain. Unfazed by a torrential downpour for much of its first half, the band's set went on to feature thirty five songs, including all but two tracks from Evil Urges and numerous covers, and featured a guest appearance from Kirk Hammett of Metallica. The set has commonly been regarded among the band's personal best and one of the best in the history of the festival. Rolling Stone called it "career-defining."Evil Urges was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Rock Album. To close out the decade, My Morning Jacket performed before a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York. The band members appeared as themselves in the American Dad! episode, "My Morning Straitjacket", which aired on November 22, 2009.
In 2010, My Morning Jacket took up residency at New York's Terminal 5 on October 18, 19, 21, 22 and 23, performing one of its five studio releases each night along with additional material from the relevant period. According to the September 16, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone, My Morning Jacket has started working on its next LP. "We've got five songs done," says front man Jim James. "It'll probably be out next spring." James is co-producing the record with The Decemberists collaborator Tucker Martine in an old church in My Morning Jacket's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. "We're trying to do everything but the strings live," says James. "There's something old and dirty-sounding about it." The band's sixth album Circuital was released on May 31, 2011. The band toured for two years in support of Circuital. In 2013, it embarked on a tour alongside Wilco and Bob Dylan that left band members disappointed, as they had falsely been told Dylan desired to work with them.
Recent events (2014-present)
While the band took a break, James stayed busy, touring behind his solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, and collaborating with Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford for the New Basement Tapes project. These individual side projects, rather than detach the musicians, worked to strengthen band members' skill as musicians, according to Blankenship. This led to a greater appreciation of the group upon their return to it. The band's next album, The Waterfall, was mainly recorded at a hilltop mansion in the coastal town of Stinson Beach, California. The band felt the surroundings were "slightly supernatural," which produced a largely idyllic recording process.The Waterfall was released in May 2015, debuting number 11 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., with 33,000 copies sold in its first week. In December 2015, The Waterfall was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
The sessions for The Waterfall were fruitful, producing over 24 completed songs, enough to fill two albums. Consequently, the band will release a second album of material at some point, although material for that album was incomplete at the release of The Waterfall.
- Johnny Quaid - guitar, backing vocals (1998-2004)
- Danny Cash - keyboards (2000-2004)
- J. Glenn - drums (1998-2000)
- Chris "KC" Guetig - drums (2000-2002)
Side projects and guest appearances
- Carl Broemel has released three solo albums: Lose What's Left in 2004, All Birds Say in 2010, and 4th of July in 2016.
- James released the EP "Tribute to" as Yim Yames on August 4, 2009. It features versions of six George Harrison songs recorded live in 2001.
- James, along with Mike Mogis, Conor Oberst and M.Ward, formed the group Monsters of Folk, who released a self-titled album on September 22, 2009.
- Jim James released his first solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God in 2013, and his second one, Eternally Even, in November 2016.
- Patrick Hallahan is a member of the group Spanish Gold who released their debut album South of Nowhere on May 27, 2014.
- Johnny Quaid has released 2 albums with his project The Ravenna Colt. Slight Spell was released in 2010 and Terminal Current in 2015 on Removador Recordings & Solutions and Karate Body Records.
- James performs on the track "At the Bottom of Everything" on Bright Eyes 2005 album I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning.
- James performs on two tracks on M. Ward's 2005 album Transistor Radio and on his 2006 album Post-War.
- James sings on "Independent Thief" on Kathleen Edwards' 2005 album Back to Me.
- James provides background vocals on "I'm Not Sorry" and handclaps on "Flower" on Follow The Train's 2006 album A Breath of Sigh.
- James performs on "Chinese Translation" and "Magic Trick" (the latter of which he produced) on M. Ward's 2006 album "Post-War".
- James and Hallahan perform on a cover version of their track "Golden" on America's 2007 comeback album, Here & Now.
- James, Koster and Broemel perform on fellow Louisville band VHS or Beta's 2007 album Bring On the Comets.
- James appears in the 2007 Bob Dylan film, I'm Not There, performing "Goin' To Acapulco" with the band Calexico.
- Hallahan joined San Antonio-based band Hacienda, who backed Dan Auerbach on the tour to for his 2009 solo album, Keep It Hid.
- James sings "St. James Infirmary" and "Louisiana Fairytale" on the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's 2010 album, "Preservation: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program."
- James performs backing vocals on Tift Merritt's song "Feel of the World" on her 2010 album See You On The Moon.
- Koster performs on several tracks on Everest's 2010 album On Approach.
- Koster performs on several tracks on Young the Giant's debut album.
- James performs backing vocals on the title track of Dr. Dog's 2010 album, Shame, Shame.
- Broemel performs on Wanda Jackson's 2011 album The Party Ain't Over.
- Broemel performs on Abigail Washburn's 2011 album City of Refuge
- James and the Del McCoury Band were guest performers at the Preservation Hall Jazz Band concert on March 17, 2011 at the SXSW festival. The performance was filmed for the Austin City Limits show.
- James sings backing vocals on Laura Veirs' 2010 album "July Flame".
- James performs lead vocals on the track "Progress" on Booker T. Jones 2011 album The Road from Memphis.
- James performs backing vocals for Nicole Atkins' song "War Is Hell" on her 2011 album Mondo Amore.
- Blankenship, Hallahan and James wrote articles for the July 2012 issue of Louisville Magazine.
- My Morning Jacket perform on "Long As I Can See The Light" on John Fogerty's 2013 album Wrote a Song For Everyone.
- My Morning Jacket covers the Songs: Ohia track "Farewell Transmission" and Jim James performs with Bro Stephen on a cover of "Almost Was Good Enough" on the Jason Molina tribute album Farewell Transmission, released on April 22, 2014.
- Blankenship, Broemel, Hallahan and Koster toured with Ray LaMontagne as his band in support of the 2016 album Ouroboros.
Film, TV and compilation appearances
- Beautiful Noise, season 3, performing "Off the Record" and "Highly Suspicious"
- Saturday Night Live, aired on 5/10/08, performing "I'm Amazed" and "Evil Urges"
- Austin City Limits, aired on 11/5/06 and 11/1/08
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien, aired on 9/13/03, performing "One Big Holiday" and on 6/19/08 performing "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt. 2"
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, aired on 9/22/08, performing "I'm Amazed"
- Late Show with David Letterman, aired on 6/8/06 performing "Gideon" with the Boston Pops, and on 10/12/10 performing "The Way That He Sings"
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, aired on 11/9/05
- American Dad! episode "My Morning Straitjacket", aired on 11/22/09
- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, aired on 10/13/10, performing "Wordless Chorus" with The Roots
- How I Met Your Mother, episode "Game Night" (Season 1, Episode 15), performing "Off The Record."
- How I Met Your Mother, episode "False Positive" (Season 6, Episode 12), performing "Xmas Time Is Here Again."
- How I Met Your Mother, episode "Karma" (Season 7, Episode 18), performing "Look At You."
- VH1 Storytellers, filmed 2/24/11, airing Spring 2011
- House, episode "After Hours" (Season 7, Episode 22), performing "Victory Dance"
- The Vampire Diaries, episode "Homecoming" (Season 3, Episode 9).
- Gossip Girl, episode "The Jewel of Denial" (Season 5, Episode 3). performing "Movin' Away".
- Wilfred (U.S. TV series), episode "Progress" season 2, episode 1
- Fringe, episode "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" (season 1, episode 7) aired on 11/11/08, performing "Thank You Too!"
- The band released the song "The First Time" from the soundtrack for the Showtime original series Roadies.
- Little Darla Has a Treat for You Vol. 14: "Mother" (2000)
- Louisville Is for Lovers Vol. 1: "Take My Breath Away" (February 2001)
- 2 Meter Sessies Volume 10: "Old September Blues" (September 2001)
- Louisville Is for Lovers Vol. 2: "Sweatheart" (February 2002)
- KVRX 91.7 FM presents local live v.6 unlimited bandwidth: "Bermuda Highway" & "The Bear" (June 2002)
- ATO Records 53: "The Way That He Sings" (October 2002)
- A Gift from a Garden to a Flower: A Tribute to Donovan: "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" (November 2002)
- Oxford American 2003 Southern Music CD No. 6: "Evelyn Is Not Real" (2003)
- The Mother Lodge: A Tribute to the Rudyard Kipling, Volume 1: "Behind that Locked Door" (March 2003)
- Live from Bonnaroo 2003: "Dancefloors" (October 2003)
- X-Ray CD No. 10: "One Big Holiday" (October 2003)
- 270 Miles from Graceland - Bonnaroo 2003(DVD): "Lowdown" (November 2003)
- ATO Records 54: "Steam Engine" (December 2003)
- Live @ The World Café Volume 18: I'll Take You There: "Golden" (September 2004)
- KCRW Sounds Eclectic 3: "One Big Holiday" (October 2004)
- SPUNK Days of Future Past: "The Way That He Sings" (October 2004)
- KEXP presents Music That Matters Vol. 1: "Golden (live)" (November 2004)
- KFOG Live from the Archives 11: "Golden" (November 2004)
- The Wired CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.: "One Big Holiday" (November 2004)
- Louisville Is for Lovers Vol. 5: "Blue Moon" (February 2005)
- Return to Sin City - A Tribute to Gram Parsons (DVD) (March 2005)
- Bonnaroo Music Festival 2004: "One Big Holiday" (April 2005)
- Live From Bonnaroo 2004 (DVD): "One Big Holiday" (May 2005)
- Live at KEXP Volume One: "The Way That He Sings" (June 2005)
- Elizabethtown - songs from the brown hotel (EP): "I Will Be There When You Die" (August 2005)
- Austin City Limits Music Festival - Live From Austin, Texas 2004: "The Way That He Sings" (August 2005)
- Austin City Limits Music Festival - Live From Austin, Texas 2004 (DVD): "The Way That He Sings" (August 2005)
- Elizabethtown (soundtrack): "Where to Begin " (September 2005)
- For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records: "Behind that Locked Door" (October 2005)
- MOJO: Born in the USA Volume 2: The New American Songbook: "Sooner (live)" (December 2005)
- Louisville Is for Lovers Vol. 6: "Epichord" (February 2006)
- On XRT: Live from the Archives, Volume 9: "Off the Record (live)" (October 2006)
- Endless Highway: The Music of The Band: "It Makes No Difference" (January 2007)
- Temptation: Music From The Showtime Series Californication: "Rocket Man" (June 2008)
- Paste Magazine - New Music Sampler - Issue 44: "I'm Amazed" (July 2008)
- Dark Was The Night: "El Caporal" (February 2009)
- Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine: "All the Best" (July 2010)
- Dear New Orleans: "Carnival Time" (August 2010)
- Rave On Buddy Holly: "True Love Ways" (June 2011)
- MuppetsoThe Green Album: "Our World" (August 2011)
- The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver: "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (April 2013)
- Farewell Transmission: The Music Of Jason Molina: "Farewell Transmission" & "Almost Was Good Enough" (April 2014)
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- ^ Greenblatt, Jeffrey "MMJ To Play 5 Nights At Terminal 5" Hidden Track (Glide Magazine) - June 9, 2010
- ^ a b Patrick Doyle (April 23, 2015). "Remaking My Morning Jacket: Behind Dark New 'The Waterfall'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015.
- ^ Neil Ferguson (April 28, 2015). "My Morning Jacket's Tom Blakenship Talks The Waterfall (Interview)". Glide. Retrieved 2015.
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- ^ "On Approach > Credits" Allmusic
- ^ "Young the Giant sign to Y&LC"God is in the TV - December 13, 2010
- ^ Amrit "Dr. Dog - 'Shadow People' (Stereogum Premiere)" Stereogum - February 9, 2011
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- ^ "My Morning Jacket by My Morning Jacket: Tom Blankenship". Louisville Magazine. Retrieved 2012.
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- ^ Gundersen, Edna "John Fogerty talks about sharing songs with Everyone" USA Today - February 25, 2013
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- ^ "Soundtracks for The Lookout" IMDb
- ^ "Soundtracks for Elizabethtown" IMDb
- ^ "Soundtracks for I'm Not There" IMDb
- ^ "Soundtracks for Stick It" IMDb
- ^ "Full cast and crew for Before the Music Dies" IMDb
- ^ "Soundtracks for He's Just Not That Into You" IMDb
- ^ "Soundtracks for Winter Passing" IMDb
- ^ Graff, Gary "Love for Levon Concert Gets March Release on CD/DVD, Will Air on TV" Billboard - February 5, 2103
- ^ "Music From How I Met Your Mother > Season 6 > False Positive - Songs Tunefind.com
- ^ "VH1 Storytellers Set To Return With Episodes Featuring Kings Of Leon, Cee Lo, Death Cab For Cutie And More" VH1 - February 16, 2011
- ^ "Music From House > Season 7 > After Hours - Songs" Tunefind
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