Carl Broemel: A man of many jackets

Matt Wickstrom

For rock star Carl Broemel, there’s no pre-show rituals, favorite meals, or lucky outfits to throw on before taking the stage. Whether he’s touring as the guitarist for psychedelic rock group My Morning Jacket or performing solo, Broemel’s mindset remains the same.

“I don’t believe in superstitions,” Broemel said. “I believe that the less you try to control things the better they go.”

Broemel’s laid back, go-with-the-flow attitude is reflected in his process, or lack thereof, for hashing out new material for his solo outfit. “4th of July” is the second chapter in Broemel’s solo journey and the first release since 2010’s “All Birds Say.”

“I’ve slowly been working on (“4th of July”), accumulating new songs. There’s really no schedule or deadline, so it’s like working in this fun zone privately working on music,” Broemel said.

The record is comprised of eight tracks, anchored by the 10 minute long title track “4th of July,” filled with a frenzy of guitar solos that elegantly ride the waves of Broemel’s smooth melodies. According to Broemel, he felt the project was complete after recording “Snowflake,” even going as far as cutting a few tracks off the record to fit it all on one vinyl.

“Because I don’t have any scheduling limitations coming from the outside, I like the limitations of a piece of vinyl,” Broemel said. “If I can fill up the vinyl, I’m done.”

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Lending their talents to “4th of July” were My Morning Jacket band mates Tom Blankenship and Bo Koster on bass and keyboards respectively. Broemel occasionally writes music with Koster so he flew him into Nashville to lend a helping hand. Blankenship recently moved to the music city so it only seemed natural that the three come together to capture lightning in a bottle once again.

While My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James is absent from the record, listening through the tracks one can’t help but feel the record was written and composed with him in mind due to several elements of MMJ’s catalogue of sounds seeping into Broemel’s solo work. 

According to Broemel, he enjoys playing in small bars while touring solo, but also larger arenas and festivals he performs at with My Morning Jacket due to the unique way each environment captures and radiates the crowd’s energy.

“Getting to play a small place it’s easier to focus the energy a bit, and since it’s going to be just me up there it gives me a chance to work on my songwriting and performing,” Broemel said. “I look at it as a presentation of music, and hopefully the smaller room will cultivate and intimate environment for people to come and listen.”

Broemel’s solo tour will join forces with Kentuckian Daniel Martin Moore this Thursday for a show at The Burl. Moore has worked extensively in the past with Broemel’s My Morning Jacket band mate Jim James, most recently on 2010’s “Dear Companion” which also featured the talents of Ben Sollee on cello. 

Thursday’s show begins at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $15 and you must be 21 years or older to enter.