By Andy J. Gordon
For JJ Grey, simply playing a song is not an option. Each selection is an opportunity to weave a tale, often about life in his beloved rural Florida. The founder and leader of the band Mofro, Grey is performing solo these days. On March 3, 2011, a raucous crowd at Hotel Café in Hollywood enjoyed his stories of love, lust, food, and his country home.
Grey (www.jjgrey.com/) took the stage with an acoustic guitar, a glass of whiskey, and a big smile. His devilish grin stayed throughout the set. Songs like “Hoe Cake” and “Brighter Days” from the Mofro album Blackwater had the crowd singing along. Grey played a number of songs from his latest release Georgia Warhorse. “Sweetest Thing,” “Gotta Know,” and “Beautiful World” all showcased his fine voice, guitar playing and storytelling. The highlight of the show was the hilarious story he told before launching into “Slow, Hot and Sweaty,” a song that needs no explanation. It seems he was riding in a car with his parents and grandma when the song came on the sound system. Grey relived the embarrassment, but played the song with great spirit and a twinkle in his eye.
The show ended with a tribute to Otis Redding and a new song that Grey played with the help of a sound effects pedal that played a drum line while he alternated guitar and harmonica solos. JJ Grey is a real troubadour who more than ably puts on an entertaining show without the support of his usual band. Check out his recordings and see him live for a chance to hear his quirky stories and hear his sweet tunes.
Photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon