There are precious few perfect combinations in life and among those chosen few none may be finer than The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park and JJ Grey and the spectacular Mofro. Like peanut butter and chocolate they perfectly complement each other while somehow making the other all the more powerful. Grey returned to the Park, a place Grey himself is quick to tell you was a favorite part of his childhood, to headline the annual Americana-heavy Suwannee Roots Revival‘s Friday festivities.
The night was getting a bit nippy as the sun ducked behind the Spanish moss-draped, live oak tree line but the crowd was more than warmed up by the first full day of music on the storied Suwannee Amphitheatre stage. The crowd, some 6,000 strong, was slipping into hoodies and smiling ear-to-ear when local boy done good Grey and his band of northern Florida-based musicians took a stage that they treated as reverently as any who live in the region, or are just in the know, are known to do. Grey was relaxed and telling stories of childhood visits to Suwannee’s beloved beaches, his current time in the studio with the rest of the band recording their upcoming album, and, of course, delivering a stage-shaking funky Southern blues set that had the crowd completely enraptured.
There were plenty of highlights to the set but none as devastating as the one-two punch he and his bandmates delivered with back-to-back blues-drenched renditions of The Animals‘ classic “House Of The Rising Sun” and Grey & Mofro’s own classic “Lochloosa”. Though it was truly one of those “You should have been there moments,” thanks to our own Rex Thomson, AKA Rex-A-Vision who serves as Suwannee’s resident documentarian, you can check out the magic for yourself.
JJ Grey & Mofro – “House Of The Rising Sun” (The Animals) >”Lochloosa” – 10/15/22