Jim James - ‘Regions of Light and Sound of God’ + Stargazer
Ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey, 1 1/2 ounces Lillet Blanc, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, lemon twist for garnish.
Mixing Instructions: Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
Notes: There’s something gripping about the idea of Jim James sitting alone in his bedroom with nothing, but a heightened spiritual awareness and some old recording equipment. For most that idea alone is more than sufficient justification for giving the My Morning Jacket frontman’s debut solo album a spin. But, for the skeptic I submit this - Regions of Light… offers one of the most gifted voices of the past decade delicately and wholeheartedly pressing into life’s biggest questions.
Inspired by Lynd Ward’s God’s Man, which he read while recuperating from a 2008 fall, James pulls from both the themes of the book, as well as the positive, soulful vibes of 70’s R&B (Gaye, Withers, even Miles Davis) to provide nine songs of love, happiness, humility and spiritual wrestling. An album that goes gently, but persistently about its creative mission, it deserves a quiet evening to savor and a drink to highlight its beauty without getting in its way.