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Watch Jim James Sing Tunes From Willie Nelson, Sonny & Cher and More on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Electric

Matt Inman | January 18, 2018


Let's be honest: I'd listen to Jim James sing entries from the phonebook (those still exist, right?), but I'll also take a collection of heartfelt covers from the My Morning Jacket frontman, and that's exactly what James delivered recently on an episode of KCRW radio show Morning Becomes Electric.

Speaking to the sandpaper-and-honey-voiced Jason Bentley before the performance, James spoke about his latest covers record, Tribute To 2, saying how the song selection speaks to the times we live in. When asked about the theme of the record, James says, "Hopefully relief. Not escape, but kind of escape." The singer also mentioned the radio station's news segment, which reminded him of the current state of world and local politics and such: "When you hear it in such lethal doses, it's hard to take. It's a strange time; there's a really strange shift going on, and I hope we can look back on this time and look at it as a great wake-up slap in the face, that we all woke up and stopped taking things for granted. Hopefully this music fits in with these times."

James then proceeded to deliver incredible solo acoustic versions of four tracks from the album, the Willie Nelson-penned "Funny How Time Slips Away," Sonny & Cher's "Baby Don't Go," Diane Izzo's "Wild Honey" and Abbey Lincoln's "The World Is Falling Down." It's an effortless yet affecting performance that left at least me wanting more (check out the things James does with his voice starting around 18:15). Alas, still no word on whether or not James still has eyes behind those sunglasses.

Watch below.