“You can’t make a living now, as a musician, without touring,” says Jim James, bleakly. It’s a reality that’s almost killed the My Morning Jacket frontman on three separate occasions throughout the band’s 20 year (and live show-heavy) tenure. Most recently, James spent the majority of the sessions for his outfit’s excellent 2015 LP, The Waterfall, flat on his back, bedridden with a herniated disc.
“It’s been a real challenge for me,” he continues. “I didn’t know how to say no for too long. It put me in the hospital. You just feel this pressure. It was really illustrated profoundly in the Grateful Dead documentary, watching Jerry Garcia having to carry that whole production, turning to heroin to numb the pain. In hindsight, anybody would say, ‘Gee, I wish we would have talked to him more and gotten more of a balance.’ I try