Almost a year ago, My Morning Jacket finished off a short run of US shows by headlining Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. This was the last time that one of our most vaunted live bands played an actual live show, at least in the traditional sense of the term. Last week, though, after the barest of announcements, My Morning Jacket released their new album The Waterfall II. And last night, the band convened on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show to play “Spinning My Wheels,” the album’s serene and ruminative opening track.
The members of MMJ probably weren’t in a room together playing the song. We see each of them separately, which suggests that they probably played their parts separately, too. But the camera gradually and artfully dissolves from one member to another, like an old-timey concert film, so it still offers a nice sense of suspended disbelief. And anyway, it’s appropriate; “Spinning My Wheels” works great as a quarantine song.
Jim James was all over TV and the internet in the early days of quarantine, covering Bill Withers on Colbert and taking part in the local-pride singalong “Lift Up Louisville.” But it’s different to see James with his band, whether or not he was physically present with his band. Watch the performance below.
The Waterfall II is out now on ATO.