I was starting to put together this year’s Different Kind of Top 10 Music List (prior versions here: 2006, 2005 and 2004), when I realized I hadn’t written up one of my favorite discs this year: Country Ghetto by JJ Grey & Mofro.
I was driving home one night.,. when I hear this sound come oozing out of my car speakers: A funky, steamy, swamp rock blues number, with a long intro that finally came to a great groove: (slide over here and click Turpentine)
On the strength of that song, I ordered the disc, and I was not disappointed. The music is a great cross-breeding experiment across genres: Start with swamp rock, add some smoldering blues, slip in vintage soul, and finally, some gospel-fried funk.
Songwriting influences are apparent: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker,
Jerry Reed, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Dr. John, Sly
& The Family Stone, Van Morrison, Howlin’ Wolf, George Jones, and James Brown.
"a down-and-dirty delight, and a fine addition to the swamp rock canon" -allmusic.com
"intriguing and fortuitous… Grey’s a songwriter with a sharp wit and a knack for skewering the hypocrites, jive politicians and carpetbaggers who litter the landscape. The MOFRO vibe travels freely among swamp funk, blues, rock and soul, and does so with a certain down-and-dirty swagger that’s as real as it is appealing." -Billboard
"A Southern-fried Sly and the Family Stone." -Don McLees
Videos after the jump.
(Um, might someone from Madison House Management consider releasing some higher quality videos to YouTube? Most of these are pretty medicore sound quality . . . )
JJ Grey & Mofro Videos:
Lochloosa JJ Grey & Mofro Seattle
"War" at the Wakarusa Music Festival in
Lawrence, KS 6-8-07
Dirtfloor: Live from Saturday in the Park in Sioux City Iowa
JJ Grey solo acoustic "Country Ghetto," live at Criminal Records ATL,