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Jim James on Wikipedia
Jim James
Jim James 8-12-11.jpgJames performing on August 8, 2011
Background information
Birth nameJames Edward Olliges, Jr.
Also known asYim Yames
Born(1978-04-27) April 27, 1978 (age 39)
OriginLouisville, Kentucky, United States
GenresPsychedelic rock, Indie rock, jam rock
Occupation(s)Singer songwriter, musician, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, omnichord, drums, percussion, harmonica, banjo
Years active1992—present
LabelsATO Records
MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Associated actsMy Morning Jacket, M. Ward, Bright Eyes, VHS or Beta, The Decemberists, Mont de Sundua, Hotel Roy, Monsters of Folk, New Multitudes, The New Basement Tapes
Notable instruments
Gibson Flying V, Gibson ES-335

James Edward Olliges, Jr. (born April 27, 1978), professionally known as Jim James or Yim Yames,[1][2] is an American vocalist, guitarist, producer, and primary songwriter of the rock band My Morning Jacket. He has released two solo albums.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Discography
    • 4.1 My Morning Jacket
    • 4.2 Monsters of Folk
    • 4.3 The New Basement Tapes
    • 4.4 Solo
  • 5 Equipment
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life

James grew up in the Highlands-Douglass neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. He attended St. Martha grade school and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1996.[3] James briefly attended the University of Kentucky.


New Multitudes onstage bathed in red stage lights

Prior to forming My Morning Jacket, James was the vocalist and guitarist of Month of Sundays, currently known as Mont de Sundua.

As the vocalist, frontman, producer and lead songwriter for My Morning Jacket, James has been instrumental in defining the sound of the band.[4] He was given an "Esky" for best songwriter in Esquire's 2006 Esky Music Awards in the April issue.

James typically plays rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, and occasional lead guitar on My Morning Jacket songs. He played the role of the band leader in the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, singing the song "Going to Acapulco", with Calexico as his backing band, which was featured on the soundtrack of the film. Rolling Stone listed James among their "20 New Guitar Gods" along with fellow My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel. In 2008, James, along with former My Morning Jacket guitarist and cousin Johnny Quaid, formed Removador Recordings and Solutions record label. The label, as described on its website, functions "on the simple principal of yielding the highest annual percentage of aural joy back into the hearts and minds of investors and shareholders with ease and convenience".[5] He contributed vocals on The Decemberists' 2009 album The Hazards of Love.

On April 4, 2009, James performed at the Radio City Music Hall, New York City, in the "Change Begins Within" concert benefitting the David Lynch Foundation.[6]

On July 7, 2009, James released Tribute To, an EP covering George Harrison songs. A portion of the proceeds from the album were donated to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. The EP was available on yimyames.com as both a digital download and a physical CD/LP.[7]

In 2009, James and the rest of My Morning Jacket played themselves in "My Morning Straitjacket", an episode of the animated television series American Dad!

In 2012, Rounder Records released the Woody Guthrie tribute album New Multitudes which features songs covered by a variety of musicians including James (as Yim Yames) and Jay Farrar. James wrote an article on My Morning Jacket,[8] discussing how the band got its name and growing up in Louisville, for the July 2012 issue of Louisville magazine. Bandmates Patrick Hallahan and Tom Blankenship also wrote articles for the issue.

James released his debut solo full-length album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, on ATO Records on February 5, 2013.

In early 2014 James recorded for Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes alongside Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith and Rhiannon Giddens. The album was produced by T-Bone Burnett and is a compilation of partial songs written by Bob Dylan that were never released.

On November 5, 2015, the David Lynch Foundation organised another benefit concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall named "Change Begins Within" to promote transcendental meditation for stress control. Jim James participated with Katy Perry, Sting, Jerry Seinfeld, Angelique Kidjo, and classical guitarist Sharon Isbin. And since each of the performers actively practices transcendental meditation, they also spoke to its power.[9]

In November 2016 he released his second solo album Eternally Even.[10]

Personal life

James was raised Catholic and attended Catholic grade school and high school.[11] He has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since 2009.[11] In 2008 he fell off the stage during a concert in Iowa, which inspired the recording of his first solo album.[2]

My Morning Jacket

Main article: My Morning Jacket discography
  • The Tennessee Fire (1999)
  • At Dawn (2001)
  • It Still Moves (2003)
  • Z (2005)
  • Evil Urges (2008)
  • Circuital (2011)
  • The Waterfall (2015)

Monsters of Folk

  • Monsters of Folk (2009)

The New Basement Tapes

  • Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes (2014)


  • Tribute To (2009 - EP)
  • New Multitudes [With Jay Farrar, Will Johnson and Anders Parker] (2012)
  • Regions of Light and Sound of God (2013)
  • Eternally Even (2016)


  • Gibson Custom ES-335 (Dot figured-top electric guitar with gloss finish honey burst) [12]
  • Gibson 1998 Limited Edition Flying V with custom chrome pickguard
  • 1976 Gretsch Broadkaster (Plain wood finish. Used as secondary performance guitar 1999–2003 tours. Also used in recording of Tennessee Fire, At Dawn, and all EPs recorded prior to 2004)
  • Gretsch Super Axe (red)
  • Fender Stratocaster (sunburst, black pickguard, maple neck)
  • Ovation Preacher 12-string electric
  • Gibson J-185 acoustic/electric
  • Takamine acoustic G335
  • Gretsch Broadkaster
  • Omnichord (OM-27, OM-100, OM-200m)
  • Roland SP-404
Other instruments
  • Gibson Ripper bass
  • Gold Tone banjo
  • Autoharp
  • Tenor Saxophone
Amplifiers and cabinets
  • Mesa Boogie Tremoverb
  • Carr Rambler
  • Mesa Boogie 2x12" cabinets
Pickups, effects and other equipment
  • SIB Mr. echo pedal
  • Boss RV-5 digital reverb pedal
  • Boss BD-2 blues driver pedal
  • Boss OC-3 super octave pedal
  • Boss TU-2 Chromatic Stompbox tuner
  • Hot Hand phaser/flanger
  • Zvex Wooly Mammoth fuzz pedal
  • Zvex Vexter Box of Rock pedal
  • Jim Dunlop Green Tortex picks
  • Grain silo[13]


  1. ^ Minsker, Evan (2012-11-12). "My Morning Jacket's Jim James Announces Debut Solo Album, Shares New Track". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Doyle, Patrick (January 29, 2013). "Q&A: My Morning Jacket's Jim James on the Band's Next Album and His Dark Period". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-12-10. 
  3. ^ Lou (25 October 2010). "21 Questions with My Morning Jacket's Jim James". Louisville.com. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Z Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  5. ^ "About Removador". Removador Recordings and Solutions. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Jim James & Bettye Lavette added to David Lynch Foundation show". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "My Morning Jacket man to release George Harrison covers EP". NME. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  8. ^ "My Morning Jacket by My Morning Jacket: Jim James". Louisville. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  9. ^ Grow, Kory. "Katy Perry, Sting Stun at David Lynch's Meditation Benefit Concert - Jerry Seinfeld, Angelique Kidjo, Jim James and others also perform and explain relaxation technique's importance to them at New York's Carnegie Hall". Rolling Stone Magazine. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ Leas, Ryan (November 7, 2016). "Jim James: Eternally Even Album Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-12-10. 
  11. ^ a b Newman, Jason. "Jim James Q&A: How a Near-Death Experience and a 1929 Graphic Novel Saved His Life". Billboard. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "My Morning Jacket – Jim James Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment". Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  13. ^ My Morning Jacket: 'We had to work it out ourselves' | Music | The Guardian

External links

  • Official website
  • Jim James discography at Discogs
  • Brown, Catherine. Review of Regions of Light and Sound of God on Cool Album of the Day

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The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA)Buy Tickets

Further Reading

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