Jim James’ workaholism is not yet on the scale of Jack White or a Dan Auerbach but he’s moving towards their little circle, a man for whom the daily life of leading My Morning Jacket, recording side projects and becoming an increasingly prominent producer is somehow not enough. So it should be no surprise that he’s found time amid releasing and touring his first full solo project to get the band together and contribute to the upcoming John Denver tribute album The Music Is You (as well as producing Kathleen Edwards’ offering of ‘All of My Memories’). But at least it should not have taken My Morning Jacket long to learn their lines – ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ is one of those songs somehow everybody knows backwards, a true standard that never grows old. John Denver’s original always brought a smile to the face, but for their part, My Morning Jacket have a deceptively simple take on it, slowing it right down and letting a sad set of lyrics speak for themselves.
Words by Ian Parker