John Lennon once said he didn’t believe that musicians created emotions in their listeners. Rather, he believed that an artist’s role is to bring feelings to the surface that already live deep within us. Thus, while all human beings are connected to one another in some way, there is a special bond we feel with the artists that help us shine a light within our own core.
A few days after George Harrison passed away in 2001, Yim Yames (Jim James from My Morning Jacket) was moved to record this six-song EP of Harrison covers, paying tribute to a man that he never met, but with whom he felt a special connection. The tracks have a serene quality that mourn the loss of a legendary spirit while celebrating his enduring influence.
On the EP, Yames performs beautiful renditions of four cuts from Harrison’s classic album All Things Pass as well as two of the Beatles tunes that he penned. These six tracks have a raw, minimalist feel – featuring little more than Yames’s vocals and acoustic guitar. With all the space, the room in which the tracks were recorded truly serves as another instrument in the mix, creating an ethereal aura for a backdrop.
From his warm, multi-layered vocals on opening track “Long Long Long” to his near-whisper at the end of album closer “All Things Must Pass,” Yames sings in a fittingly intimate manner. In the album’s liner notes, he refers to Harrison as “a prime example of the healing power of music.” These words apply just as much to this EP. As the final chords on Tribute To ring out, one can’t help but feel a deep, satisfying sense of catharsis.