JJ Grey & Mofro with Eric Krasno – April 27th – Irving Plaza NYC
Since making his recording debut in 2001, JJ Grey has been around the world and back again with his brand of ‘Porch Soul’ – a mixture of soul/funk/R&B/blues/rock, with this grungy “swampy-ness” that is clearly Southern born and bred. Originally just billed as Mofro in the early days, JJ Grey & Mofro hails from Jacksonville, FL and is composed of JJ Grey (vocals, electric piano, acoustic/electric guitar, harmonica), Andrew Trube (electric guitar and slide guitar), Anthony Farrell (Hammond organ), Todd Smallie (bass guitar), Anthony Cole (drums), and the “Hercules Horns” Dennis Marion (trumpet), and Art Edmaiston (tenor sax).
L4LM recently caught two sets of JJ Grey & Mofro on Jam Cruise 11, which were, to say the least, powerful. Grey and his fellow band mates are capable of bringing out serious emotion in their songs, as Grey writes stories about people, places, and the little things in life that pull on the strings of the heart. This uncanny songwriting prowess has earned the respect of many of Grey’s contemporaries in the music scene, and has seen him share the stage with the likes of BB King, Jeff Beck, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, and Lenny Kravitz, among others.
April 2013 brings the release of JJ Grey & Mofro’s sixth studio album on Alligator Rivers, titled This River. Named for the St. John’s River – a centering point for his childhood near Jacksonville, Florida – This River flows from freewheeling celebrations (“Florabama”) to dark inner journeys (“Somebody Else”), from late night, beer-soaked testimonials (“Your Lady”) to heartfelt ballads of the almost-forgotten (“The Ballad Of Larry Webb”), and ends with the title track and a singularly devastating vocal performance. With Dan Prothero at the helm as producer, JJ and the band once again returned to Retrophonics Studio in nearby St. Augustine, Florida and muscled out some of JJ’s strongest material to date.
“We set up much like we do for our shows, and cut the tracks as close to live as possible,” says Grey, “there’s something about everybody getting into one room and playing together. It brings some spark that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of too much overdubbing.”
JJ Grey & Mofro will be coming to NYC’s Irving Plaza on Sunday, April 21st. Eric Krasno of Soulive and Lettuce will be a special guest. With both artists being Jam Cruise alumni, expect a sit-in or two during the show. Purchase tickets here.
Check out the video for “The Sweetest Thing” w/ Toots Hibbert of Toots and The Maytals:
Here is a mini-documentary that was done on JJ Grey during the making of 2010′s Georgia Warhorse, with commentary from Derek Trucks, to give you a little insight into the mind of this great artist: