ENS West Coast contributor Dave Tobias hit another great show recently and is generous enough to share his experience. Check out his review of Jim James below.
Jim James’ solo tour behind his underrated debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God, swung through San Francisco on Sunday night. This placed the prolific frontman back in the house that built his band, My Morning Jacket, for first time since the release of Okonokos. And he certainly didn’t disappoint.
With almost two decades of work with My Morning Jacket under his belt, this tour is the time for James to shine on his own merits. James’ flying V guitar was out in full force, which wasn’t particularly expected given the dreamy, bedroom pop of his debut solo album. However, when translated to the live stage, James added vitality and energy to the music is a way that only he can; head-banging, hair-whipping solos and stage hopping being the primary efforts.
Unlike the morphing setlists of My Morning Jacket’s tours, James has taken to consistency by playing his entire album in full as the first set, then returning to the stage to play a handful of numbers from his other projects. It was a nice balance between the old and the new, divided very cleanly and placing the music in its proper place. It still gave fans of James’ older material some songs they’d want to hear, while allowing him to remain distinct as an artist within the solo effort.
I found myself reflecting on James’ growth as a musician, and comfort in his place within the modern landscape. He’s proud to be a Southern boy, and thus the country-tinged Americana of a few of his songs works exceptionally well. But he also blends in Allman Brothers-like face-melting guitarwork, and does so without having anyone bat an eye. I give him a lot credit for holding to his roots while simultaneously expanding the musical horizons of his listeners. My Morning Jacket has clearly built their following in the American rock landscape, and if James can continue to produce efforts as breezy as his current release, he’ll begin to create his own niche as well.
Sorry, comments are closed.