Booker T. Jones was flummoxed by the digital revolution. So he went to school.
The former frontman for the MGs said he was "languishing" and "frustrated" by the shift from analog music recording. He signed up for Pro Tools 101 at San Francisco State University and then upped his confidence with more advanced classes.
A new manager then relaunched his music career — at the age of 62.
Jones will perform with the Roots for three nights on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" then head to New Orleans and later to Europe on a tour.
Jones started his resurrection at a South by Southwest jam session with the Drive-By Truckers two years ago. Booker T and the DBTs played again Saturday at the three-day Coachella Music & Arts Festival.
The DBTs "play real funky Southern rock, and they're influenced by some of the music that I played in the past," Jones said in an interview before his set. "And we have a common influence in Neil Young and the fact that we like music that's just a little bit too loud."
They recorded 10 instrumental songs together — seven originals and three covers — and the result, "Potato Hole," is due out on Tuesday.
Writing the tunes as a band leader was "a great release for me," Jones said. "There was a lot of stuff that had been waiting to come out."
Jones attended Coachella as a fan two years ago. The day sessions were too hot for him, but he called the nighttime collision of sound, large-scale art installations and crowds "a sort of music in itself."
"I stood in the center of the festival and listened to the cacophony of all the different bands," he said. "That was a song of its own. There was a stage all around me. ... That was an experience like no other."
At Coachella on Saturday, he mostly played tunes from "Potato Hole," with a few songs from his famed days with the MGs thrown in.
"I had a fortunate past, and I love the music from my past," Jones said. "But I'm having a great time with what's going on in my present. I'm just in a real good place right now."