Jim James, the frontman and driving force behind My Morning Jacket, will wow the crowd Thursday night at Port City Music Hall on Congress Street in Portland.
Featuring songs from his latest work, a solo album called “Regions of Light and Sound of God,” James will uncork his trademark haunting voice and bone-chilling chords.
After more than two decades as lead singer and songwriter for My Morning Jacket, James has also been hard at work on his own music, penning nine new songs with clever lines that cut from religious to irreverent.
In “All is Forgiven,” he sings of the “Son of man” and “Mohammed,” who both come as part of God’s plan. A bit of ambivalence leads the singer to follow “all the wrong dreams/ Lost in man’s schemes,” and he prays “that all is forgiven.” The smooth sound and nice rhymes of the tune belie the sense of unease and misdirection.
In “Actress,” he sings to a woman who is “good at making everyone believe that they love you./ A little wink of the eye… a little glimpse of the thigh.” The singer damns with faint praise, employing seemingly soothing jabs and double entendres.
James has been lending himself out to other bands that benefit from his distinctive sound. His voice, which sounds like an American John Lennon or a softened Michael Stipe, has been added to albums by the Decemberists, the Roots, America, and Booker T. Jones.
The leadoff band for the concert Thursday is Alpenglow, “which began in a small Vermont town when founding members Peter Coccoma, Graeme Daubert, Elori Kramer, and Kenneth Root shared songs in an old stone mill.”
WHERE: Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress Street, Portland, Maine
WHAT: Jim James, Alpenglow
WHEN: Thursday June 20th Door at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m
PRICE: Tickets are $31/advance and $36/day of show