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In the late ‘90s, something strange emerged from Kentucky. A young songwriter named Jim James, recently a member of a band called Mont Du Sundua, had a bunch of acoustic songs that didn’t work for his current group. He started a new project, with an oddball name: My Morning Jacket. He made an album, referencing his home state’s southern neighbor. Nobody knew what to do with this band exactly, even though those that found them were pulled in by these echoing, haunting songs. They were’t alt-country and probably had the same discomfort with being sidelined there as every other artist that was burdened by that pseudo-concocted genre. You could imagine My Morning Jacket just fading back into the ether from which it came. A couple of Southern rock weirdoes made this one dusty album that would live on as the subject of cult fascination — mostly, for whatever reason, in the Netherlands. But then, two years later, it happened again, and a would-be tangent completely to the side of anything going on in rock or indie as the ’90s gave way to a new millennium instead became the infamously reverb-drenched building blocks of one of the great rock bands of our time.

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