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This River

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Album Review

Fans of JJ Grey and his ever evolving band Mofro will be delighted that the Florida swamp sage lives by the dictum "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" on This River. If anything, Grey has doubled down on the grittier, funkier aspects of 2010's Georgia Warhorse, and brought the studio closer to the stage to boot. The sound on this record is live, crackling. Half of its ten tracks are crunchy uptempo numbers that flex their funky muscles. The rest is balanced between well-articulated soul tunes, a rock number, and back-porch ballads. Set opener "Your Lady, She's Shady" is a crusty, greasy funk attack, while "Somebody Else" walks some weird line between part of the melody from the Classics IV's "Spooky" (courtesy of the Atlanta Rhythm Section's cover), vocal phrasing by Wilson Pickett, and guitars, bass, and horns coming straight from Stax. Speaking of which, the horn chart and melody in "Tame a Wild One" come right out of the late '60s — and in the grain of Grey's whiskey voice, it feels right. "99 Shades of Crazy" is dirty-ass blues-rock inspired by Delaney Bramlett and Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones. Choppy syncopated funk makes its return in "Florabama," and one can feel Muscle Shoals dripping from the horns. While this is definitely retro, Grey's fans expect it; they want it. His songs and his presence as a frontman keep things choogling. But there is a surprise in every track — the jazz-funk trumpet and Rhodes solos in the jumping, grimy "Harp & Drums" are a prime example. The songs on This River are tighter and more deftly written than on previous offerings, but the more immediate, in-the-moment-of-creation production and incendiary performances keep things from getting slick.

Customer Reviews

abSOULute gem

So very excited that JJ has new music out. Looking so forward to seeing him and Mofro in April at Irving plaza. JJ's soulful raspy deep voice with Mofro's swampy funky soulful rich blues is one of my favorite treats, I just love them. Listening to the samples on the new album bring and excited smile to my face, another soulful rock gem. Check this out, it is awesome and I cant wait to buy this. EnJoY!

Order this album today!

I first heard JJ on the radio in 2010 and became an instant fan. As great as JJ's albums have been, he is even better live. I have seen him in concert 5 times, most recently in Oct 2012 and he played Somebody Else and Write a Letter - both are instant classics. I have descibed JJ to friends as, "The Southern Bruce Springsteen". JJ and Bruce are talented musicians, great song writers, play a mean guitar, have fantastic bands and are extremely passionate The only thing they do not share is that Bruce has enjoyed commercial success. I have no idea why JJ has not hit it big yet. Hopefully, "This River" will make JJ and Mofro an over night (10 years plus) success.

JJ Grey. The New American Rock God

If the sound bites are any reflection of the whole cd this is going to be one of their best How has this band not received the national recognition they truly have earned and deserve Spread the word

Counting the days until 4/16

Stars based on bands previous works.


Formed: 1996 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Mofro is based in the Florida city of Jacksonville, near where JJ Grey and Daryl Hance grew up, the band actually formed across the Atlantic in London. The Floridians were in Great Britain to work on a recording contract that ended up going sour. While in London, the two musicians made the acquaintance of Nathan Shepherd, a keyboard player from Down Under, and Fabrice Quentin, a bassist who hails from France. Shepherd and Quentin joined them for a short time under the Mofro moniker. Unfortunately,...
Full Bio
This River, JJ Grey & Mofro
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Customer Ratings