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My Morning Jacket’s Jim James on Debut Solo Album: ‘It’s Done’

Jim James / Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James plans to release his debut solo album in 2013, Rolling Stone reports. “It’s done,” James is quoted as saying. “I think it’s gonna come out in early February of next year.”

Although no title or track list is available yet, James tells Rolling Stone he’s planning on taking the material on the road. He says he’s talking with old friends from back home in Kentucky. One longtime friend, who played with James in his first-ever band, is reportedly the drummer on the bulk of the album.

As for the music itself, James’ high, lonesome voice remains a constant, but don’t expect the record to sound exactly like My Morning Jacket. “It’s got some mellow stuff on there, but it’s also got some really different stuff,” James is quoted as saying. “I’m really proud of it. I think it’s got some different soundscapes that I’ve been into that may have been hidden on some Jacket records.”

James has recorded music away from his main band before, but never a full-length solo outing. In 2010, James put out a spartan, sorrowful EP in tribute to the late George Harrison, Tribute To, under his Yim Yames alias, and just this last month he joined former Uncle Tupelo member Jay Farrar and others for a four-song collaborative release with lyrics by Woody Guthrie. Then there’s James’ 2009 indie supergroup Monsters of Folk, with M. Ward plus Bright Eyes buddies Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis.

As for James’ day job, My Morning Jacket headline and co-curated the Forecastle Festival, which descends on Louisville’s Waterfront Park July 13-15 and will feature Bassnectar, Wilco, Sleigh Bells, and many more. The band is also close to booking a December 31 gig in Boston, though the event isn’t finalized yet, James told Rolling Stone. He’s quoted as saying My Morning Jacket wanted to do more shows like their 2008 New Year’s Eve blowout at Madison Square Garden, “but Phish booked it for the next four years.”