You Like This Band, You Just Don’t Know It Yet: My Morning Jacket

My Morning JacketJim James arrived at the smoldering wreckage of his favorite neighborhood bar. He refused to believe it until he saw it himself, and there it was, a scene found only in nightmares. He lets out a sigh, then steps out of the car. Trying to conjure up good times and maybe a souvenir, he sifts through the dirt and debris, and suddenly something catches his eye. He bends down to pick up an old leather jacket, slightly charred and ashy, though that’s not what he’s looking at. He stares at the embroidering, MMJ, smiles to himself, then walks back to his car.

My Morning Jacket is one of the hottest new bands in the rock music scene, and with their new album Z, they seem to only be getting better. Their eclectic style, mixing psychedelic rhythms and hard rock riffs with jam band style live shows is attracting all kinds of fans, from frat boys to hipsters to stoners, which they like, “It’s always been what we’ve wanted to do – appeal to so many people all over the place. You don’t get far that way. We never wanted to make one sound.”

The band formed in 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky around singer and guitarist Jim James. James, the leader of band, looks like Jeffrey Lebowski but is one of the brightest young songwriters this generation’s music scene has to offer. James has actually already been recognized for his skills, winning an “Esky” for best songwriter in Esquire’s 2006 Esky Music Awards in the April issue.

The band also won an Esky for Best Live Band, an award the band has shown over and over again it deserves. The band was a very popular fixture at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, playing from 2003- 2006, being the only band to play four times in a row. In 2006 they played an unbelievable three-and-half-hour set, which Bonnaroo made available via webcast later that evening. Their live DVD, Okonokos, is a two hour music explosion, where the band goes from bearded bums to rock gods, thrashing their guitars and head-banging to the flawless chaos that is their forte. Their upcoming shows in Colorado, feature them opening for another music legend, Bob Dylan, which may be the best combo of musicians from the past and present playing together in decades, although depending on your preference, MMJ and Pearl Jam, who played together earlier this year, may be better.

The development of the emerging rock band almost skidded to a sudden halt in 2004, as two of the original members, Johhny Quaid (guitar) and Danny Cash (keyboard) quit due to the stress of constant touring. “We were talking about the touring that was coming,” says Hallahan, “and Johnny’s eyes started tearing up. He was like, ‘Guys, I gotta tell you something…’ And then Danny was like, ‘Fuck it. I quit too.’ ” With the original drummer having already left after their second album At Dawn in 2001, the band faced the intimidating prospect of integrating three new members into the group. Luckily for the fans, the transition went smoothly, with James asking his longtime friend Patrick Hallahan to play drums, and adding new members Carl Broemel (guitar/saxophone) and Bo Koster (keyboard).

After settling the upheaval that happened after their third album It Still Moves, the band came out with arguably their best album yet, simply entitled Z, in 2005. The album is being hailed as their Kid A, showing their evolution from their past work and their growth as a band. They seem to be getting better every year, and if the development that has been evident in every one of their albums continues, it would be safe to say that their best is yet to come.

Anyone who has not heard of this band yet needs to run out to their local record store and buy Z and It Still Moves, believe me, you will not regret it. This is a band on the verge of greatness, and Jim James is on the verge of rock legend status. These guys have all the right ingredients, a great songwriter in James, fantastic stage presence, and an ability to understand each other musically like only the greats can. Get into these guys before they hit super-stardom.

Kid Zeppelin


  • Jim James – vocals, lead & rhythm guitars
  • “Two Tone” Tommy – bass
  • Patrick Hallahan – drums
  • Bo Koster – keyboards & layout
  • Carl Broemel – guitar


  • The Tennessee Fire – May, 1999
  • At Dawn – March/April, 2001
  • It Still Moves – September 9, 2003
  • Z – October, 2005
  • Okonokos (Live) – September 26, 2006


Heres some samples in WMP format:

Off The Record
Wordless Chorus


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