.BottleRock Brings Big Names

My Morning Jacket Among the Throng

The juggernaut music festival BottleRock is back in Napa, bringing with it a cavalcade of bands—old faves and emerging talents alike.

On Friday, May 24, headliners include the legendary Stevie Nicks, dynamic rapper Megan Thee Stallion and the eclectic St. Vincent. Joining them are hip-hop icon Nelly and the indie pop group Miike Snow—and literally dozens of other stellar acts.

Saturday, May 25 promises another day of fantastic music with headliners Pearl Jam and Maná leading the charge. Other acts include Kali Uchis, The Kid LAROI and Louisville, Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket—a band whose trajectory most any touring national act would die for.

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

Since forming in 1998, the band’s reputation on the live music circuit garnered them praise from audiophiles, concertgoers and press outlets all across the U.S. Fronted by founder/mainstay Jim James, the MMJ collective has released nine studio albums along with a basketful of live offerings, compilations and extended plays.

For the uninitiated, MMJ cut their teeth playing small clubs supporting their indie releases, The Tennessee Fire (1999) and At Dawn—both issued on boutique label Darla Records. Through incessant touring and word-of-mouth, the band caught the attention of New York-based ATO Records, a label the band still calls home today.

Said James after a lengthy MMJ hiatus later in the band’s career that saw him and Broemel release solo records, “We didn’t know if we’d make another record again. For a long time, I was feeling burnt out and unsure if I wanted to do this anymore.” Thankfully, James and the band changed their tune and eventually regrouped to issue The Waterfall II and, eventually, their latest release, 2021’s eponymous My Morning Jacket, to the delight of music lovers.

This gorgeous 11-song affair features some of the band’s best material in recent memory. Starting with the lead track, “Regularly Scheduled Programming,” the collection heads in myriad directions, from contemplative to straight-ahead rockers such as “Complex,” with Jim James and company proving yet again they are as comfortable in the studio as they are on the road.

And while their adoring fans will argue which record is their best, all can agree MMJ hasn’t released a dud yet. From the Grammy Award-nominated The Waterfall record to fan-favorite Z, there is something for every music listener. Once considered an indie rock band, MMJ has appealed to the jam band circuit, southern rock and psychedelic rock geeks.

The band is still anchored by vocalist/guitarist Jim James and rounded out by longtime bassist and co-founding member Tom Blankenship, drummer Patrick Hallahan, guitarist Carl Broemel and keyboardist Bo Koster.

My Morning Jacket plays the BottleRock Festival inside the Napa Valley Expo at 575 3rd St. in Napa on Saturday, May 25. The three-day festival presented by JaM Cellars lasts from May 24 to 26, and a full schedule, along with door times and ticket options, can be found at bottlerocknapavalley.com. Single-day tickets are still available in relative abundance. All ages are welcome.

BottleRock concludes on Sunday, May 26 with a stellar lineup headlined by Ed Sheeran and Queens of the Stone Age. Other top acts include Dominic Fike, Norah Jones and The Offspring.


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