My Morning Jacket

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My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket, 2015.jpg
Performing at Newport Folk Festival in 2015
Background information
Origin Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Years active1998–present
Past members
  • Johnny Quaid
  • Danny Cash
  • J. Glenn
  • Chris Guetig

My Morning Jacket is an American rock band formed in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1998. The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Jim James, bassist Tom Blankenship, drummer Patrick Hallahan, guitarist Carl Broemel, and keyboardist Bo Koster. [1] 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. The band's seventh album, The Waterfall , was released in 2015, followed by The Waterfall II in 2020 and My Morning Jacket in 2021.


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. [2] 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.[ citation needed ] The band's name stems from James, who once found a discarded coat with the emblazoned letters MMJ. [3]

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 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. [4]

Early years and breakthrough (2001–2007)

The band's second 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. [5] Patrick Hallahan, James' childhood best friend, replaced Guetig. [4] In the early 2000s, the band toured heavily, often supporting bands such as Guided by Voices, Doves, and Foo Fighters. [4] 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. [4]

Z , released in 2005, became the group's breakthrough album. [3] It received positive critical reviews; in his review for Rolling Stone , critic David Fricke wrote, "America is a lot closer to getting its own Radiohead, and it isn't Wilco". [6] The album was noticeable for a break from James' heavily reverbed vocals, and featured experimentation with dub, reggae and psychedelic rock. [5] 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. My Morning Jacket Bonnaroo 08.JPG
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, and 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. [8] 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." [8] Evil Urges was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Rock Album. 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. [9] According to the September 16, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone, My Morning Jacket 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 co-produced 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," said 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. [10]

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. [11] The band's next album, The Waterfall , was mainly recorded at a hilltop mansion above Stinson Beach in Marin County, California. [12] The band felt the surroundings were "slightly supernatural," [13] which produced a largely idyllic recording process. [10] 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. [14] In December 2015, The Waterfall was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. [15]

The sessions for The Waterfall were fruitful, producing over 24 completed songs, enough to fill two albums. [12] MMJ took most of 2018 and the early part of 2019 off from touring, but regrouped for select shows in August 2019. James described the shows as among his favorite recent MMJ performances and says the group worked through some of their personal issues in advance of the shows. [16] The members of My Morning Jacket admitted that they were not sure if they were ever going to reunite for a period of time during their extended break. [17]

The Waterfall II was released on July 10, 2020. [18] The band contributed a cover of the Metallica song "Nothing Else Matters" to the charity tribute album The Metallica Blacklist, released in September 2021. [19] The band's ninth studio album, the self-titled My Morning Jacket , was released on October 22, 2021. [20] Its first single, "Regularly Scheduled Programming", debuted on August 24 along with an accompanying music video. [20] On November 24, 2023, they will release their first Christmas LP Happy Holiday!. [21]

Band members




My Morning Jacket


Studio albums

Related Research Articles

<i>It Still Moves</i> 2003 studio album by My Morning Jacket

It Still Moves is the third album by the rock band My Morning Jacket. The album garnered positive reviews and is often considered the band's best work alongside Z. The song "Run Thru" is included in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs". The album also marks the first appearance of drummer Patrick Hallahan, as well as the final appearances of guitarist Johnny Quaid and keyboardist Danny Cash.

<i>Z</i> (My Morning Jacket album) 2005 studio album by My Morning Jacket

Z is the fourth studio album by psychedelic rock band My Morning Jacket. This collection features a much spacier and more polished sound than previous releases, making heavy use of synthesizers throughout and incorporating reggae and dub influences. The heavy reverb that was a defining characteristic of the band's prior recordings is largely absent. The songs on the album are more focused and shorter compared to the band's previous albums.

<i>The Tennessee Fire</i> 1999 studio album by My Morning Jacket

The Tennessee Fire is the debut album by the rock band My Morning Jacket. It introduced the reverb-heavy sound that is characteristic of the band's early material. This is most apparent in Jim James' vocals, many of which were recorded in an improvised studio above his cousin’s garage. Of the sixteen tracks on the album, only four were re-recorded in a professional studio prior to the album’s release: "Heartbreakin Man", "The Bear", "Evelyn Is Not Real" and "I Think I’m Going to Hell".

<i>At Dawn</i> 2001 studio album by My Morning Jacket

At Dawn is the second studio album by American rock band My Morning Jacket. Produced by group frontman Jim James, the album was released on April 6, 2001 by Darla Records. The Kentucky-based group had begun several years prior when James needed an outlet for folky, acoustic songs. Its first album for independent label Darla, 1999's The Tennessee Fire, attracted a devoted following in the Netherlands, prompting the young band to tour heavily.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim James</span> American musician

James Edward Olliges Jr., professionally known as Jim James or Yim Yames, is an American vocalist, guitarist, producer, and primary songwriter of the rock band My Morning Jacket. He has also released several solo albums.

<i>Okonokos</i> 2006 live album by My Morning Jacket

Okonokos is a live album and concert film by the American band My Morning Jacket released on October 31, 2006. The album was recorded during the band's fall 2005 Z Tour, over two nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco, California. This is the first My Morning Jacket album for which frontman Jim James does not receive a production credit; he is credited for "concept/story".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">One Big Holiday</span> Single by My Morning Jacket

"One Big Holiday" is a song by American rock band My Morning Jacket and is featured on their 2003 album It Still Moves. It is also featured on the band's 2006 live concert CD and DVD Okonokos. It is their most well-known song, behind "I'm Amazed".

<i>Evil Urges</i> 2008 studio album by My Morning Jacket

Evil Urges is the fifth studio album by My Morning Jacket. It was released by ATO Records on June 10, 2008. The album was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, ultimately losing to Radiohead's In Rainbows.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carl Broemel</span> American rock musician

Carl Broemel is an American rock musician. He currently plays guitar, pedal steel guitar, saxophone and sings back-up vocals for the Louisville, Kentucky band My Morning Jacket. He played guitar in the pop/rock band Old Pike and in the alternative pop/rock band Silvercrush.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Off the Record (My Morning Jacket song)</span> 2005 song by My Morning Jacket

"Off the Record" is a single from Louisville, Kentucky indie rock band My Morning Jacket released in October, 2005 by ATO Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bo Koster</span> American musician

Bo Koster is an American keyboardist and record producer. He is best known for his work as a member of the band My Morning Jacket and as a touring musician with Roger Waters and Ray LaMontagne.

<i>Early Recordings</i> (My Morning Jacket album series) 2004 compilation album by My Morning Jacket

Early Recordings is a compilation album series by Louisville, Kentucky rock band My Morning Jacket. It was released in 2004 on Darla Records. The two constituent albums, called chapters, are called The Sandworm Cometh and Learning respectively. Danny Cash created the graphic design to both albums and played bass and keyboard on the second. J. Glenn performed drums for the series and Johnny Quaid played guitar. "Two-Tone" Tommy played bass for the first album, but Quaid took over for the second.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Casey Neill</span> American musician

Casey Neill is an American musician. He leads Portland, Oregon-based band Casey Neill & The Norway Rats, singing with a raspy vocal quality and playing electric and acoustic guitars. Neill's style, folk-punk, mixes influences from punk, Celtic and folk music, and has been compared to R.E.M. and The Pogues.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">My Morning Jacket discography</span>

The discography of American indie rock band My Morning Jacket consists of nine studio albums, 12 extended plays, 22 singles, five music videos, three compilation albums, eleven live albums, and one video album. The band signed with independent Darla Records in 1998 before moving to ATO in 2003.

<i>Circuital</i> 2011 studio album by My Morning Jacket

Circuital is the sixth studio album by American rock band My Morning Jacket. It was released on May 31, 2011.

<i>Sweatbees</i> 2002 compilation album by My Morning Jacket

Sweatbees is a compilation album by Louisville, Kentucky rock band My Morning Jacket. It was released as a five-track EP in the UK on the Wichita label in 2002 and a nine-track compilation in Australia on the Spunk label in 2003. On both versions it comprised tracks from the band's second album At Dawn and two EPs.

<i>The Waterfall</i> (album) 2015 studio album by My Morning Jacket

The Waterfall is the seventh studio album by American rock band My Morning Jacket. Produced by Tucker Martine and group frontman Jim James, the album was released on May 4, 2015 by ATO Records and Capitol Records. After touring 2011’s Circuital (2011), for two years the band took a break before regrouping in late 2013 to begin work on The Waterfall, a process which took eighteen months.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Big Decisions</span> Single by My Morning Jacket

"Big Decisions" is a song by American rock band My Morning Jacket for its seventh studio album, The Waterfall (2015). It was released as the lead single from the record on March 2, 2015.

<i>The Waterfall II</i> 2020 studio album by My Morning Jacket

The Waterfall II is the eighth studio album by American rock band My Morning Jacket, released on July 10, 2020. Made up of recordings made in 2013 that also produced the 2015 release The Waterfall, this psychedelic pop work has received positive reviews from critics.

<i>My Morning Jacket</i> (album) 2021 studio album by My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket is the ninth studio album by American rock band My Morning Jacket, released on October 22, 2021, through ATO Records. The album was preceded by the release of the single "Regularly Scheduled Programming".


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