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JJ Grey & Mofro

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One of my favorite cd's this year, Country Ghetto. I saw them in concert not too long ago, and we absolutely loved them!


click on music, they have three little players with samples from all three of their cds.


A Review from their website;

Modern Guitars Magazine: Country Ghetto Review

Country Ghetto is the latest release from the swamp rock band previously known as MOFRO. Their first album on Alligator Records, as well as the first with JJ Grey fronting the band name, it’s even more of a fusion of styles than their previous two efforts. It seems any direction MOFRO takes is a good one. Their first record, 2003's Blackwater, was steeped in funk and boogie. Much of it was like a melding of the styles of Sly Stone, Jon Spencer, Dave Matthews, and Prince, with a flavor of deep southern swamp rock and blues, an extremely original style for sure. 2004's Lochloosa was more funk and boogie, and, as some like to call it, "front-porch soul", along with an indication that the band was becoming more focused, and maybe just a tad more serious about music in general.

Country Ghetto is a continuation of all that and more, and probably their best record to-date. It takes the listener back to the steamy swamplands northeast of Jacksonville, Florida, where JJ Grey grew up. Though the dark and melancholy swamp rock sound is prevalent still, add in an air of political awareness and tales of the bleak adversity that wetland living is, and combine that with country rock dynamics and flagrant soul and R&B flavors. That’s Country Ghetto. These are JJ Grey’s stories, sang with an incredibly high level of passion.

A huge fan of Otis Redding, Grey often pours himself out in that poignant and intense manner. The song "A Woman" is about as soulful as a white boy can get, and incredibly similar to the renowned soul singer’s potent wail. "The Sun Is Shining Down" continues down that soulful road, yet in more of a gospel direction. His Van Morrison influence also prevails in this one. The album’s opener, "War", is a funked up rocker dealing with an awareness of uncertainty and greed in the world, a scenario that haunts us all. In it, Grey sings: "No one gonna do what’s ‘right’. All we’ll do is fight. There’s a war goin’ on, and the one’s about to die are safe at home." It’s very reminiscent of Sly Stone in places. In "Circles", Grey utilizes a vintage sounding electric piano as the main instrument. His vocal is exceptional in this melancholy, bluesy ballad. In the title song, he sings of life in a "Country Ghetto", of poverty and genuine contentment. He lets the listener know that he wouldn’t change his upbringing for anything. The song's groove is both contagious and hypnotic. "Turpentine" is a boogie rocker done with grit and rock driven passion.

JJ Grey is a fine raconteur of tales of true grit, Southern hardship, and blatant realism. His music is a hodgepodge of styles, all leading to a point of gritty swampland funk and roll, done with incredible passion and pragmatism. Yet it’s peculiar, that even though Amazon.com had once assessed his first CD, Blackwater, as one of the best of the decade, many still haven’t heard of him or his band. The invisibility of good music, these days, is a blatantly clear injustice. Alligator has a tendency to detect artists who have great possibilities, yet haven’t had the opportunity to be properly exposed. Country Ghetto is an opus worth exposing. JJ Grey has the potential to be one of the greatest songwriters of the era. Out Now! Country Ghetto "intriguing and fortuitous... Grey's a songwriter with a sharp wit and a knack for skewering the hypocrites, jive politicians and carpetbaggers who litter the landscape. The MOFRO vibe travels freely among swamp funk, blues, rock and soul, and does so with a certain down-and-dirty swagger that's as real as it is appealing." (Billboard)

Edited by Guest

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Excellent recommendation, Hop! :bow: Our very own esteemed (and beloved) Songfactor Master Sir bazooka introduced me to JJ Grey and Mofro a couple of months ago. Good stuff.

...from the Dry Your Tears thread...


Samples here (<)

And here's a couple 'live' numbers

Obligatory MySpace plug.

The Sun is Shining Down kills me.

Thank you, Master Sir bazooka, for introducing them to me (and us). I am a newly minted convert.

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