the MY MORNING JACKET history 1891-2004
This page was part of "From Nashville To Kentucky", the first website for and about My Morning Jacket,
which served the public between February 2000 and February 2005. It has been continued as
"From Nashville To Kentucky", the illustrated MY MORNING JACKET discography
The first edition of "From Nashville To Kentucky" was created on February 20, 2000 and went online four days later.
Through the years it grew bigger and bigger and eventually it was closed around it's 5th anniversary.
This part of the original site has not been continued with the launch of the second edition on February 6, 2005.
the information on this page is as accurate as possible ... please get in touch if you have any piece of information to add ...
Last update of this page on April 28, 2005.
My Morning Jacket is a Louisville, Kentucky four piece Country & Rock band built around the vocal and songwriting talent of 21 year old group leader Jim James. Their sound is hauntingly classic Americana that, at times, you'll swear is coming from a veteran Country singer you've heard, but can't quite identify. You'll think it's George Jones, Glen Campbell or some '70s Johnny Cash record missing from your mental archive rather than some fresh group of young bucks. My Morning Jacket combines classic Country elements with the melancoly vibes of Harvest and After the Gold Rush era Neil Young, Pet Sounds era Beach Boys, and the immortal vocal stylings of The Righteous Brothers. These boys sing harmony like nobody's business. My Morning Jacket don't know much about the "indie" world and of what they do know, they couldn't care less. When we first querried James about Louisville music history he lit up, "Slint 7/8s timing bullshit. I'm talking about writing a fuckin' song!". The Eagles and Simon and Garfunkel were who James claimed were in heavy rotation and absorption at his residence. The closest they come in comparison to the modern guitar sound is with the languid, pre-slow-core aural heroin of On Fire era Galaxie 500. My Morning Jacket are not another interesting but pretentious, posturing, or campy alt-country derivation. There ain't nothin' trendy about 'em. They're the real deal."
(quoted from Darla Records, February 20, 2000)
My Morning Jacket began as a Jim James (real name: James (Jim) Olliges Jr.) solo outlet for songs his old band Month of Sundays couldn't use. Former University of Kentucky art student Jim Olliges takes his songs to various open mics around Louisville, circa 1998.
About his name change he said the following in an interview with the Louisville Eccentric Observer
(conducted June 19, 2003 in Shelbyville, KY):
LEO: What about your name change from Jim Olliges to Jim James?
JJ: It was just easier. When I was playing a lot of open mic nights, I’d put Jim Olliges and they’d go, Jim Olgus or something. I liked the way Jim James sounds. Kinda sounds like a western gunslinger name. It’s a lot easier, and it impacts on your brain quicker.
My Morning Jacket are a band since late 1998.
Besides Jim James (vocals & guitar), the band at that time is Johnny Quaid (guitar), "Two Tone" Tommy (bass), and J. Glenn (drums).
Before that, all members have been playing around the Louisville music-scene in various bands.
As written above, Jim James used to be in a band called Month of Sundays, from which the sound is nothing like My Morning Jacket except for Jim's voice.
The other members used to be in a band called Winter Death Club.
Month of Sundays went through several line-up changes over the years and officially disbanded in 1999.
The original line-up was: James Olliges (guitar and vocals), Aaron Todovich (guitar), Ben Blandford (bass), and Dave Givan (drums).
Month of Sundays were part of a movement of bands that came out of Louisville's East End in 1994 that helped breathe life into the city's underground scene.
Original guitarist Aaron Todovich started his musical career in a band called Chains Of My Own, which later morphed into Month of Sundays. Songwriting duties were shared between Aaron and Jim. Still, Aaron realized that he had more to say and eventually he bowed out of the band to front The Helgeson Story. However, as his inner turmoil grew, he performed less and less, and he chose to leave this world on November 14, 2003 (taken from the Louisville Eccentric Observer).
Did You Bury Yourself Again? is the Month of Sundays' 1995 debut album (Shakin' Sheila SHSLP#6). Nine schizophrenic songs with an unintentionally low-fi production that go from more pop-structured tunes to noisy, chaotic rock: In Truth, So Many People, Window Is Broken, Ashtray, What's A Handsome Guy Like You Doing In This Part Of Town?, Gloriana Dying, The Day After, Carmine, and On The Surface.
School's Out, is a three song 7 inch, which was recorded in August of 1996, and released in 1997 as the follow up to their full length debut album. More consistent stylistically than their album, the record features the songs Certain Days, Aw Shit and Hey Sally. This was the last recording made by the original lineup.
As of May 1997 the line-up was: James Olliges (guitar/vocals), Ben Blandford (bass), Dave Givan (drums), and Lance Smith (guitar).
The In Native Soil various artists compilation (Noise Pollution Noise01CD) from August 1999, contains the Month of Sundays' track One Salty Kiss. The line-up as listed in the booklet with this recording was: Dave Givan (drums), Ben Blandford (bass), and Jim Olliges (guitar/vocals).
Noise Pollution has two MP3's to listen to (go to the 'archives' page):
The Right To Bear My Name was recorded during the sessions for the School's Out seven inch at DSL in August 1996 and was never released. Bruise was recorded by Kevin Coultas in his parents' basement in spring of 1997. It was intended to be included on the In Native Soil compilation, but was later replaced with another Month of Sundays song (see above).
Shortly before disbanding Month of Sundays changed their name. Another local band appeared, calling themselves Month of Sundayz, and this caused confusion for the real MoS and their fans. They eventually conceded and changed their name to Two Shotguns, a move that they announced by placing a huge poster at ear-x-tacy (local record shop), slamming the imposter band and calling them rednecks. (thanks to Joe Powers for this piece of information).
Ben Blandford, and Dave Givan were later to be playing in a band called Panure. Panure was formed in the Spring of 1999 by Dave Givan (vocals, guitar), Ben Blandford (bass) and Pat Hallahan (drums). Panure’s first show was in January of 2000 at the Pandamonium in Louisville. The band recorded an eight song demo CD in Shelbyville in the Fall of 2000. Shortly after, the band decided to find someone to play second guitar and, after a little trial and error, they added Pat’s younger brother Chris to their ranks in early spring 2001. Panure recorded a five song CDep in November 2001 which was combined with tracks from their first recordings to create the Pearls Before Swine CD. Pat left the band in the Winter of 2002 and Dave moved (back) to drums ...
(taken from the Noise Pollution website)
The first (and only?) release from Louisville's hotel Roy, Helicopters (Omnicron Records record release no. 4, 1997)
features Jim Olliges on vocals.
from the insert:
Welcome to hotel Roy
Alex Smith - bell boy (guitar)
John Carswell - chaplain (bass guitar)
King Thomas - deskman (drum kit)
Tim Cushing - chef (guitar)
and your entertainment for the evening...
Winter Death Club formed in March 1997.
The line-up was: Johnny Quaid (guitar/vocals), Tom Blankenship (later known as "Two Tone" Tommy) (guitar), Patrick Nevins (bass), and J. Glenn (drums).
They released a 7" split single w/ Eurogression on Street Records (str 07), including the songs Manger, and Race Track.
On February 20, 2000 the first website for and about My Morning Jacket,
"From Nashville To Kentucky" (unofficial, but approved) was created!!
It can be found at a new address since February 2005.
An official website for My Morning Jacket is fully on-line since March 17, 2000!
Also available since then is a My Morning Jacket mailing list, click the logo below to subscribe ...
If you are able to read Polish, check out this My Morning Jacket fansite, maintained by Piotr Bargiel!
Download a My Morning Jacket screensaver !!
In July 2000 an official fifth member has been added to the My Morning Jacket line-up: Danny Cash (layout and keys).
Since November 2000 J. Glenn is no longer with the band, from now on the drums will be hit by Chris 'KC' Guetig.
This is the official band statement:
"As of late November 2000, drummer J. Glenn, who lent his talents to the band for The Tennessee Fire and At Dawn, has parted ways with the band for the sunny shores of Hawaii. A hard worker, fantastic musician, and all around good guy, we wish him nothing but good luck in the future."
On April 16, 2002, Chris 'KC' Guetig announced his departure from the band on the MMJ mailing list:
"i would like to take a brief moment to say thanks to all the kind people i've met through my morning jacket. i appreciate all the kind words and compliments that have been expressed via this bulletin board as well as in person at shows. i've had a wonderful time with the band and have nothing but positive memories. but we all must move on at some point, and that time seems to be now. thanks again for your support, and maybe i'll see you in the crowd at a future show.
cheers, until we meet again,
There has been NO official band statement ...
The new drummer since the May 2002 shows is Patrick Hallahan (see above).
In December 2003, when new US tourdates were being announced for January 2004, the first 5 dates got cancelled due to 'unforeseen circumstances'.
The reason the shows were cancelled was that guitarist, Johnny Quaid had been having KILLER migraine headaches for over a year.
By the time the first show was played on January 16, 2004 in Birmingham, AL, it got clear that Johnny Quaid was replaced, and that keyboard player Danny Cash was no longer with the band, and replaced as well.
On January 19, 2004, the following official band statement was given:
MY MORNING JACKET LINE-UP EVOLVES
We wanted to send you all a note letting you know about the recent changes in My Morning Jacket’s line-up. After four years of passion, sweat, traveling the world and spreading the love, Danny Cash and Johnny Quaid have decided to hang up their instruments and pursue other things in life. For an "In Their Own Words" vibe on how and where they’re going, click here. Please know that Danny and John are still part of My Morning Jacket’s fabric and friendship and where they will be missed dearly, we couldn’t be happier for them to take their lives in a direction they’re most comfortable with.
On the road with My Morning Jacket are Carl Broemel (guitar) and Bo Koster (keyboards). Both Carl and Bo came to My Morning Jacket through "friend-of-a-friend" recommendations and as fans of the music. After just a few rehearsals we were a little taken aback as to how well they knew the music and felt about it the same way we all do. So, we hope to see you at a show sometime soon and that this evolution is met with the perspective that the only thing consistent in life is change.
Our love to Danny and John, our welcome aboard to Carl and Bo and our thanks to you for having open minds and hearts to the future.
Patrick, Jim & Tommy
The Louisville Courier-Journal had the following piece in their January 21, 2004 issue (the pictures above were taken from this article):
Jacket gets alteration
Louisville's My Morning Jacket has spent much of the past year traveling the world and jumping from one magazine cover to the next. It's a hard-knock life, despite its glamorous reputation, and two band members have decided it's time for a change.
Guitarist Johnny Quaid, the band's co-founder, and keyboardist Danny Cash have retired. Band leader Jim James said the split was actually good news in some ways. "It's a sad day, but in another way it's great because they were just miserable living life on the road. We have so many good memories."
Quaid has moved to California to be with his girlfriend and to hone his carpentry skills. Cash is planning to open a toy/novelty/cool-stuff store in the Highlands. They've been replaced by Carl Broemel (guitar) and Bo Koster (keyboards). "A couple of friends referred them to us, and they just walked in and nailed it," James said. "We've done three shows, and they knocked it out of the park."
— Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal
The Velocity Weekly had an interview with Danny Cash (and the picture above) in their January 28-February 3, 2004 issue:
Photo by Matt Stone
"I don't think I'd ever want to go back," Danny Cash said.
All Rocked Out
My Morning Jacket gave Danny Cash a shot at fame and money. Then he walked away.
by Joshua Hammann
Danny Cash has bonged Coors Light tall boys with Dave Grohl and slipped into the bubbling, milky-white waters of an Icelandic hot spring. He's been hugged by adoring fans and burned by music writers. He's done everything that anyone who ever picked up a guitar or wrote a song might envision as the ultimate fruit of their labors.
He has also decided that it isn't the life for him.
For almost five years, 26-year-old Cash played keyboards for My Morning Jacket, the Louisville band that has turned its brand of southern-inflected jam rock into a international sensation. He recorded a handful of EPs and two full-length records, including the breakthrough "It Still Moves."
But for almost a year, Cash had been souring on life on the rock 'n' roll fast track. This slow-building wave crested in a hotel room in London a few days before Thanksgiving.
Cash and guitarist Johnny Quaid met with the band and its manager and announced they were quitting.
"I don't think it was much of a surprise," Cash said. "When you tour with somebody and you spend 24 hours a day next to them for years on end it gets rough after a while. It could be Santa Claus but you end up hating them after a while."
Both members have since been replaced, and Cash has already begun life as potentially Louisville's own Pete Best.
"I thought doing the record and being home for a extended amount of time would be really nice, but doing the record, we were in the studio every day and I might as well have been on the road," Cash said. "And while we were still making the record we had to leave for the tour. It was a lot of nonstop touring and by the end of this year I had pretty much had it."
The band canceled the first few January dates of the tour. Rumors swirled around about a band member breaking a hand, but Cash said it was the band trying to figure out its next move.
Cash's next move is the Debutantes, a French pop, glam-inspired band started by some of his lifelong friends. Also, Cash is opening Kopilot, a toy and knick-knack art gallery at 618 Baxter Ave. that will feature works by local artists and items he picked up on tour.
Kopilot's grand opening is Feb. 6 and will feature the work of local artist Andy Sturdevant.
Cash had always been interested in art, but had also always dreamed of a life where music kept him from the bane of "a real job."
"It's cool to have fulfilled that and to have dropped everything and just gone out and played," Cash said. "That's obviously the life that Jim (James) and (Two-Tone) Tommy and Patrick (Hallahan) want, but for me and John, I think that lifestyle made us understand that we were home people."
Despite the timing, Cash said he and Quaid came to their decisions independently.
"John and I, I think, we were on the same page because we talked a lot, but neither of us really talked to each other about quitting," Cash said.
The band had been touring in England, Scotland and Sweden through November. It was cold, Cash said, and morale was not high. Then Cash heard that a close friend of the band was missing.
"One night, our drummer Patrick woke me up and told me that they found that he had killed himself," Cash said. "The tour really started to deteriorate from there."
Soon after, Cash and Quaid were gone.
My Morning Jacket's recent success has been massive. The band enjoys consistent coverage from the likes of Rolling Stone, Spin and NME. It has shared the stage with the Foo Fighters and Beck and appeared on NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." It seems poised for only more greatness. But that wasn't the reality, Cash says.
"In the band, as much as I loved the music, we would record 12 or 15 songs every 21/2 years and then go out and play the same songs every night," Cash said. "You wake up, set up your gear, go do your interviews and eat and then come back and play and tear everything down. It's like (the movie) `Groundhog Day.'"
At home with his friends and family, Cash is more immersed in music than he was on the tour bus, playing with the Debutantes and helping record another band his friends are in, Your Black Star.
"I can be involved in a lot of bands and still be involved with the lives of my family and friends," Cash said. "That's perfect for me. I don't think I'd ever want to go back."
But there are things he will miss.
"Even where you are just basically playing the same set list of songs night after night, just getting up there, the vibe that all of us had, that was the best part," he said.
My Morning Jacket started with a brown van and five guys who were willing to drive four days to play one show. They would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drink generic cola. When there was money, they would splurge on turkey and cheese. But there was a goal in sight that made sleeping in a van living on Jiff worth it.
Four years later, My Morning Jacket reached that goal — shot right past it, actually — and that was enough for Cash, so he walked away.
In addition to the information above also read the official biographies:
One from February 2001. Plus the ones from 2003, and March 2004, both taken from the official site.
© 2000-2005 Ger Potze
MY MORNING JACKET