My Morning Jacket Biography
My Morning Jacket was formed in 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky by singer, songwriter and guitarist Jim James (real name: James Olliges Jr). The original line-up also included three members of the Shelbyville emo-punk band Winter Death Club; namely John McQuade (later known as Johnny Quaid - guitar and vocals), Tom Blankenship (later known as Two Tone Tommy - bass) and J. Roberts (later known as J. Glenn - drums). Winter Death Club were signed to Charleston indie label Street Records in 1997 by Tas Taiganides after he booked them and Jim James (performing as "Month of Sundays") for a "Punk Rock Matinees" show at the Horse & Cart Cafe. Winter Death Club released a 7" split single with Eurogression on Street Records. Jim James was also offered a record deal, but he declined the offer, disbanded Month of Sundays and formed a new band with Quaid, Blankenship and Glenn. The band was named My Morning Jacket and subsequently signed to Darla Records.
The band's debut album, The Tennessee Fire, was released in May 1999. The following year, keyboardist Danny Cash was added to the line up. A second album, At Dawn, followed. It again featured drummer J. Glenn, but he had already left the band by the time it was released in 2001. Glenn was replaced by Chris 'KC' Guetig, although he was replaced by James' childhood friend Patrick Hallahan in May 2002.
My Morning Jacket signed with ATO Records in 2002. In 2003, they released It Still Moves, their major-label debut. This was followed by a live EP Acoustic Citsuoca, which was notable for the absence of reverb on Jim James' vocals and thus sounded very different from their earlier works.
In January 2004, Quaid and Cash left the band and were replaced by Carl Broemel and Bo Koster respectively. In November 2004, the band released two collections of early work, which included demos, live recordings, and cover versions. These discs are entitled Early Recordings Chapter 1 – The Sandworm Cometh and Early Recordings Chapter 2 – Learning.
October 2005 saw the release of the critically acclaimed album Z, released by Sony BMG. The band was featured (under the name Ruckus) in the 2005 film Elizabethtown. They contributed an original song "Where to Begin" and "Same In Any Language" written by Nancy Wilson of Heart.
In 2006, My Morning Jacket were musical guests on the Late Show with David Letterman, performing with members of the Boston Pops, with whom they played two shows at Boston Symphony Hall later in the month. In 2006 the band also released a live double album and DVD entitled Okonokos.
In 2007, the band opened for Pearl Jam at Lollapalooza in August, and recorded their album Evil Urges, which was released on June 10, 2008. Prior to its release, they performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, and at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in June. It was followed by a June 20 show at Radio City Music Hall.
Their 2008 Bonnaroo set lasted almost four hours, starting at midnight on Friday; it featured guest appearances by Kirk Hammett of Metallica, comedian Zach Galifianakis and the Nashville-Louisville horns. 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 several covers, such as Erykah Badu's "Tyrone", Kool and the Gang's "Get Down on It", Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime", James Brown's "Cold Sweat", Bobby Womack's "Across 110th Street", Funkadelic's "Hit It and Quit It", Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin" and Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home".
On May 10, 2008, they were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and played "Evil Urges" and "I'm Amazed". In August 2008, an animated music video for the song "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 2" was released. The video was created by the graphics design team Hornet's Mixtape Club. The Autumn 2008 European Tour had to be canceled after Jim James was injured in a fall from the stage in Iowa City, Iowa. Evil Urges was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative rock Album
The band was featured on CNN's 2009 New Year's Eve show with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, performing from Madison Square Garden. The band supported Neil Young on his Australian tour and played the Big Day Out festival. Celebración de la Ciudad Natal, released on Record Store Day, April 18, 2009, is an eight song EP taken from two live recordings, notably the band's Summer 2008 Waterfront Park concert in their hometown of Louisville, KY. In May 2009 Open Salon rock critic MJ Wycha called My Morning Jacket "the best thing to happen to rock music in years."
The entire band appeared as themselves in the American Dad episode, "My Morning Straitjacket", which aired on November 22, 2009. The episode featured the single Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Part 2 in a psychedelic music video experienced by Stan Smith. Stan then enjoys I'm Amazed and changes his doorbell to an excerpt of Phone Went West. Remnants plays as Francine gets Stan backstage to meet Jim James in person. The episode ends with a live performance of Wordless Chorus.
At one point, there were plans for My Morning Jacket to tour as The Electric Mayhem, the fictional band from the puppet series The Muppet Show. The band would have performed live backstage, while animatronic versions of the puppet characters appeared on stage. However, The Walt Disney Company, who own the rights to The Muppets, abandoned this project.
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 their five studio releases each night along with additional material from the relevant period. According to the September 16, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone, My Morning Jacket has started working on their next LP. "We've got five songs done," says front man Jim James. "It'll probably be out next spring." James is co-producing 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," says James. "There's something old and dirty-sounding about it." Their sixth album Circuital was released on May 31, 2011. On October 12, 2010, My Morning Jacket performed on Late Show with David Letterman. The performance was webcast live on CBS.com. The band also played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon along with The Roots on October 13, 2010. They also appeared on VH1's Storytellers on June 3, 2011.
In 2013 it was announced that the band would be hosting and performing at their own One Big Holiday all-inclusive music festival at the Hard Rock Hotel Rivera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. Along with the band, The Flaming Lips, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Miriachi El Bronx would round out the four night event that took place January 26–30, 2014. In 2015 the second One Big Holiday festival took place at the same resort between January 31-February 4. The second festival featured Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, The War on Drugs, Dawes, Sylvan Esso and Biz Markie.
In early 2015, it was announced that the band would headline the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015. On March 3, 2015 the band's seventh album The Waterfall was announced, with a release date set for May 5, 2015. The first song available from this release is called Big Decisions.