Photo Credit: Marc Millman

Last week, Jim James returned to his Louisville, Ky. hometown for a solo acoustic stand on Nov. 22 at W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre. The night was billed as a benefit for the Young Author’s Greenhouse, a local nonprofit organization that aims to inspire children (6 to 18) to recognize the power of their voices and stories. After an opening frame from special guest Kiana Del, James took the stage for his covers-heavy performance, which featured first-time plays of beloved material from George Harrison, Marvin Gaye, and others. 

Rather than start the night with borrowed material, James commenced his stage time with a pair of originals, including “The World’s Smiling Now” and “A New Life.” He turned to his My Morning Jacket archive next, picking up a pair of tunes before the night’s initial debut, a take on Harrison’s soul-stirring “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).” James landed on the Timmy Thomas scribed “Why Can’t We Live Together,” followed by a mix of MMJ cuts, solo material, and another Harrison first, this time a cover of “My Sweet Lord.”

With the conclusion of MMJ’s “Never in the Real World,” James merged into Monster of Folk’s original “The Right Place,” followed by the Eagles popularized “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” which represented another debut. For the final songs of the main frame, the musician added Wonderful (The Way I Feel) from Circuital, followed by “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.).” An eight-song encore ensued, beginning with MMJ’s “In Color.”

The final portion of the evening continued with a first-time cover of Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” Then, James worked through Timmy Thomas’ “Rainbow Power” and MMJ’s “Bermuda Highway.” Another debut rolled out next, this time The Beatles’ “Real Love,” which seemed fitting given that Fab Four just released another song from the same John Lennon demos collection. Following the aforementioned song, James picked up “Here in Spirit” from Eternally Even. New Multitudes’ “Changing the Word” served as the second to last play, followed by the night-ender from Brian Wilson’s solo archive, “Love and Mercy.”

Visit Jim James’ official website for more information.

Scroll down to view the setlist via Setlist.FM

Jim James 

W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre – Louisville, Ky. 

Nov. 22, 2023 

Set: The World’s Smiling Now, A New Life, Knot Comes Loose (My Morning Jacket), I’m Amazed (My Morning Jacket), Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) (George Harrison)+, Why Can’t We Live Together (Timmy Thomas), Hopefully (My Morning Jacket), Look at You (My Morning Jacket), Throwback, My Sweet Lord (George Harrison)+, Only Memories Remain (My Morning Jacket), Big Decisions (My Morning Jacket), I Will Be There When You Die (My Morning Jacket), Movin Away (My Morning Jacket), Over and Over, I Needed It Most (My Morning Jacket), Never in the Real World (My Morning Jacket), The Right Place (Monsters of Folk), Peaceful Easy Feeling (Jack Tempchin), Wonderful (The Way I Feel) (My Morning Jacket), State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

Enc.: In Color (My Morning Jacket), What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye)+, Rainbow Power (Timmy Thomas), Bermuda Highway (My Morning Jacket), Real Love (The Beatles)+, Here in Spirit, Changing World (New Multitudes), Love and Mercy (Brian Wilson)


+ Debut, first-time played