Earlier this week, My Morning Jacket kicked off the 2016 leg of their tour in support of The Waterfall, and at each stop so far, the band has paid tribute to Prince by covering a pair of the artist’s legendary songs. At New Orleans’ Jazz Fest Friday, Jim James and company kept this new tradition going by performing “Purple Rain” and “Sign O’ the Times” with assistance from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who contributed a funereal yet celebratory feel to the tracks.
In the wake of Prince’s death, Minnesota’s the Current reached out to dozens of artists, including James, to get their thoughts on the late icon. “When you hear his music, even at his most melancholy, his music is still so joyful. I feel like to hear his music is like the sound of what it means to be a human alive and feel love. It’s one of the most beautiful things,” James said.
James also discussed his favorite Prince album. “For me, Sign O’ the Times from start to finish is really what does it for me. There are so many masterworks across his career, but that record, start to finish, is right up there with the greats ever made,” James added. “It covers so much ground. He has always been so inspiring to me, just as an example, just always keep trying different things and keep shooting for the stars. There is no limit to what he tried to do.
At My Morning Jacket’s tour-opening gig in Oklahoma City, the band fired off a cover of “Raspberry Beret.”