Hear My Morning Jacket’s Gritty Lo-Fi Rarity ‘John Dyes Her Hair Red’

My Morning Jacket unveiled one of the previously unreleased tracks, “John Dyes Her Hair Red,” from the upcoming 20th anniversary reissue of their 1999 debut album, The Tennessee Fire, out August 2nd via Darla Records.

“John Dyes Her Hair Red” finds MMJ exploring a sonic realm far from their characteristically expansive take on southern rock. It’s a stripped-down song that features just the clang and crunch of a blowout guitar, over which frontman Jim James delivers a simple and sweet vocal performance that still crackles at the edges.

In a statement, James said “John Dyes Her Hair Red” was one of the first “song poems” he ever wrote. “I always liked the idea of a song being this little picture or puzzle, and not necessarily having to ‘mean’ something or be about some big story or have tons of linear lyrics, but more just painting a weird little scene,” he continued. “I have always tried to make my music gender neutral when it comes to love or romance for the most part, so that a person of any gender could experience a song and not feel excluded if i was using ‘he’s’ or ‘she’s’ or whatever and this is an early experiment with that, of a person named John, which is traditionally a ‘male’ name, who is dying her hair red and sitting in the shower til it all turns back brown. And maybe one would think — ‘well why did she ever even dye her hair red in the first place?’”


The 20th anniversary reissue of The Tennessee Fire will come with the original 16-track album, as well as a second 16-track bonus disc of rarities, including previously unreleased songs, demos and alternate versions of album cuts like “Heartbreakin’ Man” and “I Think I’m Going to Hell.”

Along with the deluxe edition of The Tennessee Fire, My Morning Jacket will celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary with a special one-night only show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, August 9th. The band will perform the album in its entirety, along with other songs from that era. My Morning Jacket perform at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens August 10th, while prior to that they have a pair of upcoming shows at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado, August 2nd and 3rd.

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