Jim James never ceases to amaze the music world with his versatility. After writing and playing every note on his solo album Regions of Light and Sound of God, masterminding Bonnaroo's Superjam, and continuing a seemingly endless tour schedule, what more could we ask for from the man? How about performing a full concert in Brooklyn with The Roots? No, we're not messing with you. This epic convergence of musical talent occured Tuesday night, and for a fan of both bands like I am the result is nothing short of bliss. In comparing Jim James' band My Morning Jacket to The Roots, it is not easy to draw similarities. Despite the different genres the two groups represent, bringing Jim James to The Roots is like a gift from the rock gods. With them, he performed songs he would not normally have the opportunity to do with MMJ, like the ultimate musical aphrodisiac, "Use Me" by Bill Withers.
Jim James & The Roots - "Use Me"
The same goes for The Roots, who can pull off playing John Lennon's "Instant Karma," but in James find a front man with the chops to sing it the way it ought to be sung.
Jim James & The Roots - "Instant Karma"
Black Thought and Jim James teamed up to perform their hip-hop rendition of the Monsters of Folk song "Dear God," calling it "Dear God 2.0" when done with The Roots. Immediately after they moved into Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," something I never imagined hearing James sing.
Jim James & The Roots - "Dear God 2.0" and "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man"
Jim James is an unstoppable music machine, picking up his axe and even the saxophone during this Brooklyn set. Next week he is putting the solo thing on hold and beginning the Americanarama Festival of Music, touring the country with My Morning Jacket, Wilco, and arguably the greatest American songwriter ever, Bob Dylan.
Watch the mythical rocker perform "All Is Forgiven" in HD from our Hype Hotel series.