Last weekend, Jim James played a stunning acoustic set at the Newport Folk Festival and showed up onstage with both the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and folk legend John Prine. Backstage, the My Morning Jacket frontman told Rolling Stone the band is currently recording the follow-up to 2008's Evil Urges in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. "We've got five songs done," he says. "We've worked a couple weeks. We're going to do another month. It'll probably be out mid-next year — probably May."
James says that he is co-producing the album with Tucker Martine, who produced the Decemberists' The Crane Wife and Hazards of Love discs. "We're recording it in a church in Louisville," he says. "We've never made a record in Louisville before."
James calls Evil Urges, which was recorded in Colorado and New York, "the hardest record we've ever made." The new sessions sound more upbeat. "I'm really excited," he says. "It's all live, so the vibe is really, really good, really wholesome. There's something about it. We've done stuff mostly live but then you do some overdubs, some vocals, or whatever. But we're trying to do everything other than maybe strings live. There's just something old and dirty about it."
Since Evil Urges, the band has been busy with various side projects. James released George Harrison tribute EP Tribute To and appeared on the Monsters of Folk. Guitarist Carl Broemel will release his second solo album All Birds Say on August 31st. My Morning Jacket will play all five of their albums during a five-night stand in October at New York's Terminal 5. In late August, they will support Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for three dates in Massachusetts and New Jersey. "I'm looking forward to it," says James. "It'd be awesome if we get to play with him."