With over 100 bands performing at Bonnaroo 2013, it's nearly impossible for anyone to be familiar with all of them. Fortunately, sites like Youtube, Spotify, and Pandora have made it easier than ever to discover a band's catalog.
But where to begin? In this series, we will profile notable songs from selected Bonnaroo 2013 performers. These won't necessarily be the biggest hits or the songs most likely to be played live, but a selection of songs that showcases every facet of the artist's work.
Our first artist is Jim James. James is one of the most seasoned Bonnaroo performers, his group My Morning Jacket being Bonnaroo's most noted "home grown" success story. With the debut of his first solo album of original material, James is ready to show that the dynamic performance that has made him a Bonnaroo favorite can translate into a solo act.
"One Big Holiday"
With just one solo album to pull from, it's a safe bet that Jim James will break out a few My Morning Jacket favorites to round out his set. "One Big Holiday" is My Morning Jacket's live anthem and the high energy mark of their show. It will be interesting to see if James can keep up that live energy with his solo show, or if he'll even attempt the song so synonymous with My Morning Jacket.
"A New Life"
While Jim James' voice can wail with the best of them, when he slows down and tries his hand at a ballad, he lays his soul bare. "A New Life" is the best song off James' new solo album "Regions of Light and Sound of God" and is sure to be an intense highlight of his live show.
"My Sweet Lord"
Jim James' first foray into solo material was "Tribute To", a song made up completely of George Harrison's songs. While there likely won't be any George Harrison songs in the Jim James-led Soul Superjam, this song does give a good indicator of what kind of unique take James brings to a cover.
With Jim James playing bandleader for the Soul Superjam, there's no telling who, or what, might show up. The best indicator we have is "Sec Walkin", My Morning Jacket's soul-tinged smoker from 2008's "Evil Urges."
"State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)"
One of the things Jim James has done best as the leader of My Morning Jacket is create songs that invite the audience to join in the sing-along. While there's nothing on James' "Regions of Light and Sound of God" that reaches the interactive level of My Morning Jacket's "Wordless Chorus", there's little doubt that "State of the Art" is custom built to be the crowd pleasing anchor of his solo live show.
"Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)
Jim James' supergroup with Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and M. Ward, Monsters of Folk, created one very well received album that pulled from all four members' wheelhouse to create a genre spanning disc. "Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.), with its samples from Trevor Dandy's "Is There Any Love" is probably the closest thing on the album to what you'll hear in the Soul Superjam.
What songs by Jim James do you consider to be essentials? Let us know in the comments section.
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