Thursday, May 16, 2013

ThisSmallPlanet Review: Jim James Live, Crystal, Portland, May 14, 2013 (feat videos and set list)


 Jim James of My Morning Jacket performed at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon on May 14, 2013.

Many people still think of Kentucky-based My Morning Jacket in terms of alt-country rock, Americana, roots music, but they are increasingly apt to experiment with soul, jazz, R&B, Motown, and world music sounds.

Leonine leader Jim James has stepped out on his own, sometimes under the monicker Yim Yames, on such instant classics as 2009's Tribute To... (George Harrison) and as part of the supergroups Monsters of Folk (with M. Ward and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Mike Moggis) and New Multitudes (Jay Farrar's Woody Guthrie project).

He recently released his first solo album and is touring with a very strong road band, performing songs from the solo album, as well as other material, such as Woody Guthrie's "Changing World".

The solo album can best be described as "indie soul", and the gospel music played before the show helped set the tone for the show. Opening act Cold Specks put on a great set. Very impressive.

Jim James and band took the stage and the good news is, the material rocked a lot harder in concert than on the record. Everyone in the band is great, and Jim was in fine form, singing, playing guitar, and sax, moving around the stage like an uncaged panther.

Some of these videos are a bit dark, but the later ones seem better.

May those who were there recall it fondly. May those who were not there get a little bit of the spirit that was in the air that night by watching and listening to these videos.

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