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JJ Grey And Mofro

JJ Grey And Mofro

JJ Grey And Mofro can be booked through this site. JJ Grey And Mofro entertainment booking site. JJ Grey And Mofro is available for public concerts and events. JJ Grey And Mofro can be booked for private events and JJ Grey And Mofro can be booked for corporate events and meetings through this JJ Grey And Mofro booking page.

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In fact, in most cases we can negotiate for the acquisition of JJ Grey And Mofro for international dates and newer promoters providing you meet professional requirements.

JJ Grey And Mofro Biography

Growing up in the swamplands of northern Florida, down home roots, rock and soul artist JJ Grey became a realist early on. “You fall in love with a pig,” he says, “and then one day your granddad knocks it in the head and bleeds it for butchering. You tend to grow up with a certain amount of realism in your life.”

JJ Grey and his band MOFRO exude rocking, funky, melodic, front porch realism in every song they play. Grey comes from a long tradition of Southern storytellers, and his songs oftentimes use the loss of his natural surroundings and the marginalization of the Southern culture he grew up in as a metaphor for universal truths. The band delivers his material with brilliant musicianship, resulting in music that is thought provoking rhythmically dynamic and texturally mesmerizing.

JJ Grey & MOFRO’s Alligator debut, COUNTRY GHETTO (produced by Dan Prothero) features 12 original JJ Grey compositions that come right out of the Southern musical and literary tradition. Grey’s ear for detail inhabits his songs, whether it is a story passed down to him from his grandmother or the tribulations of a childhood friend. His voice delivers them with an unflinching strength that makes the personal universal and paints a vivid portrait of an exact time or place with words and music. Like his songs, his rich, soulful vocals are forceful and commanding, seemingly old beyond his years. And the music, from smoldering soul ballads to gospel-fried funk to straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll, brings it all home with danceable grooves and a melodic freshness that will stay with you long after the album ends.

Grey’s songwriting influences are widespread. “I listen to people who tell the story,” he says, naming Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, R.L. Burnside, Tony Joe White, Jerry Reed, Otis Redding, Dr. John, Sly & The Family Stone, Van Morrison, Bill Withers and Dan Penn. What these writers and performers have in common is a love for simplicity, evoking complex emotions with a minimal amount of words. As a performer, Grey is influenced by the sexually charged blues of Howlin’ Wolf, the country soul of George Jones and the hard funk of James Brown, as well as local personalities like street preachers and old time radio DJs.

From the beginning, Grey’s songs have been connected to his ancestral Florida homestead 40 miles outside of Jacksonville, a landscape he writes about with passion and devotion. Back in 1986, Grey worked at an air conditioning company, where he befriended guitarist Daryl Hance. At the time Grey had a young original band that needed a guitar player so he gave Hance the call. Grey was immediately impressed with Daryl’s minimalist approach. “Daryl plays like Curtis Mayfield or Peter Tosh. He plays like the older generation, with patience.” Under the name of MOFRO (Grey’s nod towards a lumberyard he worked at), they recorded a demo together, which drew the interest of a UK label. The two then flew to London in 1994 to record.

While in London, the deal collapsed. Deciding to stick it out for a while, Grey placed ads in Melody Maker for musicians and quickly put together a band to play in the local London music scene. They were courted by a number of record labels, but were not at all impressed by the seemingly false and unrealistic promises being offered. On his own, Grey researched and found Fog City Records, owned by Dan Prothero. The two hit it off instantly. Returning stateside, Fog City — with Prothero producing – recorded and released Blackwater in 2001 (named by as one of the best CDs of the decade) and, on Swampland Records – again with Prothero at the helm — Lochloosa in 2004. JJ Grey & MOFRO’s rabid following, through hard work, touring and undeniable musical prowess, grew quickly.

A National Public Radio feature in 2001 brought JJ’s music to more people than ever before. Doors at press, radio and venues opened across the country. JJ Grey & MOFRO performed at Bonnaroo, opened for Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Galactic, B.B. King and Jeff Beck. Word of their live show spread quickly, and bookings at festivals and concerts around the world increased, including jaw-dropping shows at The Austin City Limits Festival and The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The band continues to tour constantly, and will hit the road hard in support of COUNTRY GHETTO.

From gritty funk to juke joint romps to contemplative country soul to blistering rockers, JJ Grey & MOFRO occupy a distinctive space in the music world. And, like the best of the great Southern novelists, JJ Grey fills his stories and songs with details that are at once vivid and personal, political and universal. The songs and the music on COUNTRY GHETTO will make you smell the cypress trees, feel the hot breeze, taste the ho-cakes, and remind you that home is where the heart is.


I often feel like the wars we fight as nations pale in comparison to the wars we fight between our own ears. Within my own thoughts I play politics while I juggle morality, personal loss or gain, and the wild needs of the “warrior” within. It seems so easy to lose yourself and your concept of right and wrong in that ever shifting haze of confusion.

From Florida’s vicious Barber-Mizell feud to religious standoffs. From race relations to jilted lovers. Sooner or later someone has to break the vicious cycle of he-said she-said by letting go and moving on.

I grew up when the “root hog or die” days were still fresh in the minds of my parents and grandparents. I was brought up to earn it and not waste it, to respect and protect womanhood and promote manhood, and to be thankful for what you got. By today’s standard we ourselves, and most of the folks we knew, lived below the so-called “poverty line”. We were land and culture rich and dollar poor but I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for any other. I’ve always felt blessed to be raised here, to know so many larger than life characters, and to steep in the years of blood, sweat and the grim determination of my people before me. My culture, my life, my love is here in this country ghetto.

It’s amazing how much pain pain-relievers can bring. For me to watch a lifelong friend, addicted to prescription drugs, become a mere shell of his former self and then drag all his loved-ones down around him is a tragedy too many people know about.

I believe the “civilized” world loves to tell you who you are and sometimes your inner strength isn’t enough to shed the stigma. During those moments you truly realize how great it is to have someone at your side who knows you, loves you, and who you can draw real inspiration from.

When my grandfather was a young man the timber barons came and tried to cheat the folks around Lake Palastine (seven miles south of Olustee, FL) out of their land. The timber men bought off some for nothing and burned the rest out of house and home. I was a young’n when my grandparents told me this story.

Years after the timber baron land grab, turpentine camps sprang up all over north Florida. Like the coal mines of the Appalachia these camps were centered around “company stores”. They became hellish prisons for those who couldn’t afford better or for the many who had become entangled in store “debt”. When my daddy was a boy he worked for the Hercules powder camp drawing up lightered stumps from where present day Interstate 10 now sits but thankfully he never had to “deal” with the company store.

I was asked to write some songs for Cassandra Wilson and this was one of them. In the end the song wasn’t used so I decided to change a few words and sing it myself. The lyrics all fall back to me being raised around and by strong women. There’s nothing scarier, wilder or more attractive.

With so many bad things said and written about Mississippi these days (i.e.: the recent smart-ass comments from a U.S. senator) it was my pleasure to give my own (from the outside looking in) opinion of a beautiful place that’s produced so much great music and so many great people.

A tribute to those surreal moments in life when everything clicks. A beautiful sunset, hearing the wind whistle through the high piney woods, or a warm night with the call of a limpkin echoing the silence. These moments take me back to time and place I will never see again but I will never forget them either. Home.

Sometimes the very thing that does you the most harm is the hardest thing to part from.

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