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Band Rock Blues


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The best kept secret in music


"Billboard Review"

"MOFRO, comprising Floridians JJ Gray and Daryl Hance, is a strange bird of an outfit -- an unmistakably Southern hybrid that maintains elements of funk, blues, country and Dixie rock. But the duo is also undeniably soulful and quite adept at what it does. Down-home funk track 'That Boy,' like most of the songs here, is driven by a rock-solid bottom and more hooks than a tackle box. Grey's honeyed vocals make 'Fireflies' a soul-drenched delight, while Hance's slide guitar work brings back-porch authenticity to the atmospheric 'Ten Thousand Islands' and gutbucket fare like 'Gal Youngin' and 'Pray for Rain.' Grey's vocals are also mighty fine on the glorious 'The Wrong Side' and bluesy 'Everybody's.' MOFRO waxes Bo Diddley on 'How Junior Got His Head Put Out.' But the real showpiece is the title cut, a pining, sorrowful lament about the overdevelopment of the act's home state." - Billboard

"Relix Review"

"MOFRO's second release has a laid back brilliance... The deeply soulful songs are delivered with measured grit, driven by JJ Grey's distinctive expressive croon and the succint guitar and dobro of Daryl Hance." - Relix

"Orlando Sentinel Review"

"In a music business that knows our state mostly for Dashboard Confessional, Creed and teen pop, we're not lacking in carefully marketed MTV stars. That makes the music of Mofro a precious commodity indeed" - Orlando Sentinel

"This Is Not TV Review"

"It's hard to even start writing about the band's sound without using terms like 'earnest' and 'authentic', words that I have used as the shitty stick with which to beat many a nu metal band, but in the case of Mofro, for once they apply in the positive. Take the heady title track for instance. Forget the fact that the band are drawing on blues and country moves that have been used for decades and let yourself fall into the calluses in JJ Grey's voice and absorb the richness that drips from every scrape and whine of guitar, whinny of harmonica and subtle percussive clack. Preconceptions are easily washed away with their conviction and spirit, enjoyment is merely a case of travelling with the music, however hippyish an assertion that might be, and steering away from ones bad white soul experiences. Do that and you will surely fall in love with what is a f**king great album of funky blue country.

"For the first time in too long I really let myself go in the company of an album and dropped my critical armour and my experience was all the better for it. I have built walls of cynicism and superiority around me over the years (revved up in the majority by rotten blues-rock) without really even noticing it and "Lochloosa" has punctured them with the brilliance of its conviction. It is to their merit that they managed to turn the head of a sour faced curmudgeon like me and I challenge anyone, regardless of their preconceptions, to not feel warm in the company of this record" - This Is Not TV

"Glide Magazine Review"

"An honest, down-home storyteller with one hell of a voice, and genuine love for the swamplands where he grew up... The somber, solo work in "The Long Way Home" brings Grey to the forefront of singer-songwriters. But what makes Lochloosa more than a record is the title track itself. Not only is the tune a notable standout among many runner-ups, it's most representative of his distinct artistic voice and the best piece of his still very young career." - Glide Magazine


Blackwater - 2001 - Fog City
Lochloosa - 2004 - Swampland
Country Ghetto - 2007 - Alligator


Feeling a bit camera shy


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 Amazon.com 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 the band music to more people than ever before. Doors at press, radio and venues opened across the country. They 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.


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