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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Five Essential Neil Young Songs: Jim James |

Roger Waters, Neil Young & Jim James
2016 Bridge School Benefit Concerts

We here at Thrasher's Wheat have long held respect for Jim James and My Morning Jacket due to their sound being influenced by Neil Young.

Jim James's new album Tribute To 2 includes cover songs of The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Dianne Izzo, Ray Noble and Al Bowlly, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Abbey Lincoln. From Jim James: Five Essential Neil Young Songs | by Sarah Wardrop: (Thanks HtH!)
Jim James: Five Essential Neil Young Songs:

"Don't Be Denied," Time Fades Away (1973)
This song always fills me with the spirit of Neil: that big, bold, raw spirit of his that never has been denied, it seems. I love playing this for people who have never heard it. It takes me back to the early days of touring and how tough that is, but also how exciting it is — starting and pursuing what seems like an impossible dream. What a message for anyone to hear: "Follow your dreams, don’t be denied!"

"Comes A Time," Comes A Time (1978)
I’ll never forget at Bridge School a few years ago, Neil played this as the closer when everyone comes onstage. It was like some holy vision standing there on stage with Neil and so many other beautiful souls in a place filled with so many wonderful ideas and thoughts and goodwill visions. All of us were singing this holy song together, caught up in the rapture of love and unity with time passing and standing still.

"Hey Babe," American Stars 'n Bars (1977)
This song feels like falling in love to me, and I don’t even mean the lyrics (though they feel that way too). I mean the way my heart feels when I am falling in love is the way the pedal steel feels when it hits my ears, or the way the harmonies feel as they melt my heart. And when I hear it in my darkest, loneliest hour, it brings me hope that perhaps things will change and love, once more, might brighten up my door.

"The Old Laughing Lady," Neil Young (1969) and Unplugged (1993)
I first heard this song on MTV Unplugged. I was maybe 13 years old or so and I thought it was such a crazy visual experience. Then I heard the original master recording and was just blown away by the soundscape and soulful nature of the song. I wish Neil would do more experimenting in the studio like he does on this song. I would love to produce a record with him one day that was just so f***ed up. We would go out in the woods and knock rocks against trees for snares, rustle leaves in the wind for cymbals, and howl at the moon for guitars. There would be no actual acoustic or electric guitars or harmonicas or any of his familiar ingredients other than sheer madness, raw power, Mother Nature, and his voice. Of course, his voice.

"Like A Hurricane," American Stars 'n Bars (1977) and Unplugged (1993)
I also originally heard this on MTV Unplugged and it destroyed me hearing him at his ancient lords organ. But then I heard the original recording and more than perhaps any other song in history for me, the original recording of this song has inspired and informed my own lead guitar playing. His lead guitar rips my cloudy brain to pieces, lights it up, and scatters it out amongst the stars.

- Jim James
November 2017

More on Jim James, My Morning Jacket and their sound being influenced by Neil Young.

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At 12/14/2017 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

I just became a fan of Jim James. I haven't heard him sing too much yet, but I like the way he talks about Neil Young songs! I can relate. He toured with Dylan but never even got to hang out with him... or was it, never even got to speak a word. "Dylan does not hang." Period. Neil is more of a social animal. Thanks JJ. Alan in Seattle

At 12/14/2017 08:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HERES my top 5 neil tunes --- harvest --- cinnamon girl --- sea of madness --- tonights the night --- down by the river --- I have never heard of " jim james " --- nor do I care to ...

At 12/15/2017 01:10:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

MMJ worth exploring with 'Z'

At 12/15/2017 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Feath2505 said...

My Morning Jacket’s 2003 Album ‘It Still Moves’ is one of my all time favourite records. I recommend any one of you who have never heard it to give it a go.

At 12/15/2017 08:31:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

MMJ's song "Golden" is an absolute emotional trip into a place I cannot describe....

please I implore anyone who has never heard it to give it a listen or 50,000+...

"what does it mean to feel?"

At 12/17/2017 07:25:00 AM, Blogger Jay A. said...

My Morning Jacket is a special band.


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