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The Tennessee Fire Turns 20!

Go back in time to 20 years ago to a Shelbybille, KY grain silo where My Morning Jacket recorded their first album!

By Alexis Renaudat | Video of the Day | August 3, 2019

20 years ago, My Morning Jacket put out their first album, The Tennessee Fire. The 4 childhood friends from Kentucky recorded the entire 16 tracks in a grain silo in Shelbyville. That’s how the reverb-drenched sound that would come to characterize their first two records was born. To celebrate two decades since the record’s release, the band (led by Jim James and Tom Blankenship) put together a 2-disc set: the first contains the 16 original tracks, and the second is made up of alternative takes and previously unpublished songs. The higher fidelity of I Think I’m Going to Hell, recorded in 2000 at the Byton studios in Loosdrecht, Netherlands, as well as the psychedelic bottleneck playing on The Gift – which wasn’t on the original album – offer a previously unseen side of the band. It’s apparent that the songs selected for The Tennessee Fire didn’t entirely reflect the experimental tendencies which would emerge with later albums such as Z in 2005; those tendencies were nonetheless present as an undercurrent. Instead, alt-country would be the word, with acoustic guitars, washy drums and deftly crafted harmonies coming to define their debut effort. The Tennessee Fire: 20th Anniversary Edition is both a celebratory re-edition and a way to highlight the band’s early years before they gained more fame and momentum. Happy birthday! © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz


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