Hopefully, you’re one of the lucky ones who got yourself a ticket to tonight’s SOLD OUT Johnny Brenda’s show with Jim James. No opener. No My Morning Jacket. Just James and his oustanding new record to rock people’s faces off. Seriously, that record is great.
Ever since 2011’s Circuital, My Morning Jacket started looking a lot less like a jam band and much more like a southern-flavored great rock band. Their songs had cool tempos, artistic production and deeper lyrics than any jam bands at Bonnaroo. And yet they had this kind of deserved-or-not reputation for being that kind of band. So it was with some reproach that I spun Circuital, but then I listened again. And again. And again. It has a lot of nuance and character; it’s equal parts light and dark. There’s celebration and excitement but there’s also thoughtfulness, regret and sadness.
It’s no surprise that his newest is an astounding new chapter in his story as an artist. Last month’s Regions of Light and Sound of God is a beautiful piece of work. And he can take just about every credit for it: “Composer, Producer, Engineering, Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Drum Programming” – all his. While thinking about a solo record he was given a novel called “God’s Man” by Lynd Ward. Produced in 1929, it’s a dramatic story told in engravings and wood carvings of an artist’s struggle with his craft and the trappings of money, power and fame. And while you don’t necessarily get that upfront in a listen to Regions, you at least know that this is a talented, gifted man who’s devotion to what he does is inspiring.
Today on Instagram he posted a photo of one of our murals with: “city of brotherly love…and murals. beautiful. love Philly.” It’s mutual, dude.