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My Morning Jacket: Album evolution


mmj Credit: Handout

After spending much of 2009 working on side projects, My Morning Jacket returned this year to reclaim its reputation as one of the best live bands around.

The band spent the summer opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and this week it will move into Terminal 5 performing a different album at each show.

Bassist Tom Blankenship, who along with Jim James is one of the original members of the band, looked back at each album.

‘The Tennessee Fire’
“I’m a 20-year-old video-store clerk playing in a band. A bandmate gives me a cassette for another project he’s working on. ... I listen to the tape, amazed that this hilarious dude Jim has written these beautiful songs.”

‘At Dawn’
“The band records its next album over a three-day weekend in the summer of 2000.  The record remains … the best of what’s possible with a one-inch tape machine, pieced-together equipment and late nights spent making each other howl with laughter as much as creating music.”

‘It Still Moves’
“I’ve been forced into retirement from the video store due to a grueling tour schedule. The band takes a very momentary break from the road to document a collection of sprawling songs, most of which have grown from years of being played live.”

“I’m 27 and can’t shake the feeling that this next album will be my last. This album is the sound and feeling of the band wordlessly battling the dark elements and coming through the other side in one stronger piece.”

‘Evil Urges’
“I’m a married 30-year-old with two four-legged kids. The band spends a month in a secluded Colorado cabin working out songs, dog-sitting and cooking together.  The result is our most collaborative album. The songwriting feels more concise, and the sound is incredibly tight and clear.”

If you go: My Morning Jacket performs at 7 Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday at Terminal 5. 610 W. 56th St., 212-260-4700. $46.

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