The relationship between Jim James and the Roots goes back at least to November 2009, when the Philly hip-hop crew backed Monsters of Folk doing “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It went so well that when the Roots put out their next album, How I Got Over, the following year, it featured the My Morning Jacket frontman on “Dear God 2.0.” So when James released his first solo full-length, Regions of Light and God and Sound, earlier this year, it came as no surprise that not only did he promote it on Fallon’s show, but also the Roots backed him again—this time on a staggeringly terrific version of “A New Life,” above. (The tune didn’t just appeal to viewers: Questlove made James promise to play the song at the drummer’s future wedding.) And now, building on that, Jim James and the Roots team up for one evening
of collaborative performances tonight at the Prospect Park Bandshell to help support the free programming at Celebrate Brooklyn.