Singer/songwriter/musician JJ Grey and his band Mofro will celebrate the release of their new CD, This River, with a live performance at Track 29 on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
This is Grey's seventh album (his fifth for Alligator Records) and his first studio album since 2010's acclaimed Georgia Warhorse.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show.
Review for This River:
This River, like his previous releases, was produced by Grey and Dan Prothero, and recorded at Retrophonics Studio in Saint Augustine, Fla., with additional recording done in Grey's home studio, known as "The Egg Room."
As proven by his previous albums, Grey is a meticulous storyteller. "Many of the new songs," says Grey, "are about being your own worst enemy, and about normal folks pushing themselves over the edge." Grey's lyrics and slice-of-life scenarios are filled with honest detail, helping to bring his emotionally complex characters to life in songs including Somebody Else, 99 Shades Of Crazy, The Ballad Of Larry Webb and This River. "I see a little bit of myself in these songs," Grey states. "The difference is in the choices people make."
His gritty vocals and punchy horn arrangements add even more depth to the lyrical album. Grey's fervent delivery and the expert musicianship of the band pull the listener deep inside each track, making This River a deeply moving and engaging musical statement. "I took my time and I'm happy for it," says Grey.
For This River, Grey brought the whole band in to the studio and cut most of the tracks live. To JJ, the result was a bit more like their live show. "It adds so much more to the dynamic of a recording. It's so different when you get to play off each other rather than overdub each track," says Grey.
From his early days playing cover music behind chicken wire at a Westside (Jacksonville) juke joint to playing sold-out shows and some of the largest music festivals in the world, it's been a long road. But JJ has no illusions about where he's headed or where he's been. When prompted with questions about his past accomplishments or future plans, JJ lays down a little backwoods wisdom: "I'm just a salmon swimming upstream. Going back home, I reckon. I don't know why and I quit caring why a long time ago. I guess there is no 'why' that my mind could understand anyway. All I do know is that I've enjoyed and I'm still enjoying every second of just being here and doing whatever it is I'm doing."