Jim James: Tiny Desk Concert A single voice can send a powerful message - and that's just what Jim James did at the Tiny Desk, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar.

Tiny Desk

Jim James

A single voice can send a powerful message - and that's just what Jim James did at the Tiny Desk, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar. His lead-off song, "I'm Amazed," comes from My Morning Jacket's 2008 album Evil Urges. It's a prophetic song in many ways - it speaks not only of a divided nation and the need for justice but also to the beauty in the life and plight of others. It's something Jim James would find greater appreciation for after he fell from a stage at a My Morning Jacket concert, just three days before Evil Urges was to be released, sustaining life-threatening injuries. It would be a life-changing event and the inspiration for his first solo album years later, in 2013, Regions of Light and Sound of God.

Jim James' second song at the Tiny Desk, "Same Old Lie," comes from an album he released just days before the 2016 Presidential election. The lyrics take on a deeper meaning now, just days before the 2018 elections. "It's the same old lie you been reading about / Bleeding out - now who's getting cheated out? / You best believe it's the silent majority / If you don't vote it's on you, not me."

His closing tune, in what I think of as a purposeful trilogy for these political times, is from two albums he's released this year, Uniform Distortion and Uniform Clarity. The albums contain the same songs, performed with his blistering electric guitar on one and on the other, as here, acoustically. "Over and Over" is perfectly suited for "The Future of Voting 2018" tour he's embarked on. After 20-some odd years of putting out music, Jim James is full of fervor and compassion for others as he sings, "How can we make / The same mistakes / and still carry on / Living the same we did yesterday / Have we learned nothing at all?"

Set List

  • "I'm Amazed"
  • "Same Old Lie"
  • "Over and Over"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Suraya Mohamed, Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski; Editor: Kaylee Domzalski; Production Assistant: Brie Martin; Photo: Madeleine Cook/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Stella Donnelly performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 22, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR/Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR/Cameron Pollack/NPR

Stella Donnelly

Watch the Australian singer-songwriter perform three new songs from her upcoming full-length debut, Beware of the Dogs.

Buddy performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 4, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Buddy

The preacher's son from Compton brought his flair for the dramatic, and an air of rebellion, to the Tiny Desk.

Amy Grant performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 7, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Amy Grant

Amy Grant maps her fabulous, four-decade career with some of her coziest and heartfelt Christmas songs, not to mention a delightful version of "Jingle Bells."

Trouble Funk performs a Tiny Desk concert on April 9, 2018. Eslah Attar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Eslah Attar/NPR

Trouble Funk

We squeezed 12 go-go musicians behind the Tiny Desk. Watch what ensued.

Tyler Childers performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 8, 2018 (Eslah Attar/NPR). Eslah Attar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Eslah Attar/NPR

Tyler Childers

Tyler Childers writes songs about hard lives and hard love with direct heart and a soulful Kentucky drawl.

Vagabon performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 31, 2018 (Jenna Sterner/NPR). Jenna Sterner/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jenna Sterner/NPR

Vagabon

Laetitia Tamko, the artist known as Vagabon, is a 25-year-old, Cameroon-born musician with a big, tenor voice just bursting with new musical ideas.

Big Daddy Kane performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 8, 2018 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Big Daddy Kane

One of the greatest to ever bless the mic treated the Tiny Desk audience to an office block party.

Betsayda Machado performs a Tiny Desk concert on Oct. 20, 2017. Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo

The Afro-Venezuelan collective brings the boisterous parranda sound to the Tiny Desk.

Nick Hakim performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 13, 2018 (Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR). Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

Nick Hakim

The music of Nick Hakim occupies a space and time that feels out of this world, with songs that explore the quietude of inner thoughts.

Back To Top