Lead guitarist Johnny Quaid and keyboardist Danny Cash have quit My Morning Jacket after four years in the band. Both departures were amicable and both Quaid and Cash cited a desire to step back from the rigorous work schedule that the Louisville, Kentucky, troupe took on in support of its third album and major-label debut, 2003’s It Still Moves.
Quaid and Cash were on board for MMJ’s debut, 1999’s Tennessee Fire, and its other independent release, 2001’s At Dawn. With buzz from press and other musicians over their high-energy live shows and unique brand of reverb-drenched rock & roll, the group signed to ATO Records (an RCA imprint co-owned by Dave Matthews), which released Moves last year.
In a letter to fans, Quaid (cousin of the band’s frontman Jim James) wrote, “[Playing in the band] is all I ever wanted, but now all I want is at home.” Cash added, “It’s been a good run. I’ve been to places that I never dreamed I’d get to go. Unfortunately the lifestyle of a touring musician is not the one for me.”
Guitarist Carl Broemel and keyboardist Bo Koster — recommended to the group through “friend-of-a-friend recommendations” — have already rehearsed with MMJ and been taken in as new members. “Please know that Danny and John are still part of My Morning Jacket’s fabric and friendship,” a letter from the remaining members read. “We couldn’t be happier for them to take their lives in a direction they’re most comfortable with.”
The newcomers have to hit the ground running, as My Morning Jacket still have seven U.S. tour dates left between now and the end of the month, before heading overseas to London and Dublin for a pair of gigs. On February 19th, James will begin a ten-date tour with Bright Eyes and M. Ward.