ABOUT MY MORNING JACKET
Formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1998, rock band My Morning Jacket consists of vocalist/guitarist Jim James, bassist Tom Blankenship, drummer Patrick Hallahan, guitarist Carl Broemel, and keyboardist Bo Koster.
1998-2000: Formation and debut releases
Singer-songwriter Jim James formed My Morning Jacket in 1998. At the time, James was in a band called Month of Sundays and created My Morning Jacket as an outlet for the acoustic songs he’d written that would not suit the other band. The group grew from the ashes of Shelbyville-based emo-punk band Winter Death Club, with James’ cousin Johnny Quaid (guitar), Tom Blankenship (bass), and J. Glenn (drums) joining the band – all former members of Winter Death Club.
The band released its debut album, The Tennessee Fire, on May 25, 1999. The album found some minor success in the US but became a surprise hit internationally, particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium. To promote the album, they embarked on a European tour. Their popularity in Holland led to them appearing in the Dutch documentary This is NOT America. In 2000, Danny Cash joined the band as its keyboard player.
2001-2007: Early years and breakthrough
At Dawn, the band’s sophomore album, was released on April 6, 2001, by independent label Darla Records. The album earned praise from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, which helped grow the group's US fanbase. Not long after the album was released, drummer J. Glenn left the band, to be briefly replaced by Chris Guetig and then Patrick Hallahan, James' childhood best friend.
My Morning Jacket toured extensively throughout 2001, supporting bands including Guided by Voices, Doves, and Foo Fighters.
The following year, the band signed to ATO Records. They released their third album, It Still Moves, on the label in September 2003. The album hit the Billboard 200 and also charted at number two on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. It had positive reviews from publications including Rolling Stone, who included the track "Run Thru" in their list of "100 Greatest Guitar Songs".
In January 2004, Cash and Quaid left the band and were subsequently replaced by keyboardist Bo Koster and guitarist Carl Broemel.
Z, the band’s fourth studio album, was released on October 4, 2005. The album was more experimental and polished than the band’s previous albums and saw them incorporating elements of dub, reggae, and psychedelic rock into their music. The album was the second highest-rated album of 2005 according to Metacritic and it went on to be featured on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2006, the band released the live album Okonokos, which was recorded while the band toured Z.
2008-2013: Shift in sound
Evil Urges, the band’s 2008 album, marks a significant shift in sound that, at the time, was polarizing amongst fans. The album was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album and ranked at number four on Rolling Stone’s Best 50 Albums of 2008 list, also appearing in the top 20 on six other similar lists. The band made their first appearance on Saturday Night Live to promote the album. That summer, they went on a US tour that included a performance at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. The band played for four hours from midnight, in the pouring rain, with a set that featured thirty-five songs, including all but two tracks from Evil Urges and numerous covers, as well as a guest appearance from Kirk Hammett of Metallica. The set was described by Rolling Stone as "career-defining." They then went on to perform for a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden. On November 22, 2009, the band appeared as themselves in the American Dad! episode, "My Morning Straitjacket".
On October 18, 19, 21, 22, and 23, 2010, My Morning Jacket appeared at New York’s Terminal 5, performing one of its five studio releases each night along with additional material.
The band's sixth album Circuital was released on May 31, 2011. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and hit the top spot on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart and number three on the Top Rock Albums Chart. The band toured for two years in support of Circuital. In 2013, they embarked on a tour alongside Wilco and Bob Dylan.
2014-present: Recent events
The band took a break throughout 2014, giving James the opportunity to tour his solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, and collaborate with Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford for the New Basement Tapes project.
The Waterfall, the band’s next studio album, was released on May 4, 2015. It reached number 11 on the Billboard 200 and number two on both the Top Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums charts. In December 2015, The Waterfall was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
The band continued touring extensively over the next few years, taking a break for most of 2018 and early-2019, regrouping in August 2019. The Waterfall II – an album of songs written around the time of the making of The Waterfall – was released on July 10, 2020. That September, the band contributed a cover of the Metallica song "Nothing Else Matters" to the charity tribute album The Metallica Blacklist.
The band released its eponymous ninth studio album in October 2021, preceded by its lead single, "Regularly Scheduled Programming", which debuted on August 24 along with an accompanying music video.