“Today’s music ain’t got the same soul,” Bob Seger once lamented, and apparently that’s a lesson that JJ Grey & Mofro have taken to heart. The Jacksonville, Florida-based band has sustained itself for more than a dozen years, taking inspiration from its southern surroundings (as if a song such as “Florida” and “Lochloosa” leave any doubt) and archival instincts honed in a city that bears a distinctive musical history all its own. While an allegiance to the blues inspired an early affiliation with the roots label Alligator Records, it soon became evident that the group was moving into more contemporary realms, an area that finds them well in tune with today’s populist precepts.
Normally, when musicians grow both in confidence and ambition over time it's considered a good thing. JJ Grey & Mofro's sound grew from a gritty, stripped-down hybrid they called "Lochloosa," a musical meld of swamp pop, funky gospel, Louisiana-tinged R&B, and roots rock. Lyrically, Grey spun myths from the rich, humid soil of his homeland straight into the band's grooves.
Mosquito laced swamp rocker turned blue-eyed soulman JJ Grey has gradually expanded both his audience and his band, growing from humble beginnings nearly a decade ago to a headlining, theater filling act. Along the way, he’s gone from a somewhat reticent performer to spotlight stealing frontman, graduating from sitting on a stool while churning out dank, damp, somewhat amorphous R&B to a full blown, crowd pleasing soul revue. Naturally some of the original grit and rawness were polished off along the way although to his credit, Grey has continued his association with long time co-producer/engineer Dan Prothero.