By Gayle Thompson
My Morning Jacket maintain one of the busiest tour schedules of all acts, regardless of genre, but their eclectic sound has made it hard for them to find much radio success. While the Kentucky-based band could certainly find a fit somewhere between pop and country, lead singer Jim James says that neither genre holds his interest.
“Having a hit would be awesome, but I don’t know if it’s meant to happen,” he tells Rolling Stone. James is less than complimentary of pop radio, calling it “such a waste of time,” but he really doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to country music.
“I feel like modern country is deliberately dumbing down the human race,” James says. “They’re deliberately making people take glory in being uneducated and racist, and it’s just sad. I think it’s absolute mind control.”
James doesn’t seem to mind collaborating with some artists on the fringe of country, however. He appears on Quiet Life’s latest EP, Housebroken Man, along with Shovels & Rope‘s Cary Ann Hearst.
“My Morning Jacket was recording next door to us, and on a whim, my brother said, ‘I’m gonna send Jim a tweet and tell him to come play a solo,’” Quiet Life lead singer Sean W. Spellman says. “Five minutes later, the engineer gets a text that says, ‘Here comes Jim.’ He shows up at the door, and I ask him if he wants to play a solo, and he says, ‘That’s why I’m here!’ He walks in, plugs a bass into some pedals and a guitar amp, and in one take, he helped dictate the entire vibe of the recording.”
My Morning Jacket also appeared on the 2013 album, The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver, along with Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucinda Williams and Mary Chapin Carpenter.