Review: JJ Grey & Mofro @ The Variety

Mofro has always been about JJ’s personal message. His songs are autobiographical and on the level- no show-biz “b.s.” Whether hunched at the electric piano or plucking on his Gibson SG, JJ shows you that the stage is indeed his and he means what he says. Regardless of who you are or what you believe, his convincing words and passion sell you on what he believes. Mofro has added horns to their present incarnation, thickening up the dense sound and giving it a bit of a ’60s Stax Records edge to it.

This show was littered with favorites throughout. Air, which has always struck me as a dreamy kind-of surreal song that is just really about chillin’. Jookhouse a rave-up about partying with friends at the local roadhouse. Lochloosa is simply the most soulful song about being homesick and the impending feeling of sorrow that comes with watching land developers tear away a part of your soul. The crunch rock groove of Dirtfloorcracka will sweep you off of your feet and on to the dance floor. They performed several songs off of the recent release, Orange Blossoms, which I’m not quite as familiar with yet, but blissfully enjoyed their live arrangement. Their stage show is an excellent showcase for JJ’s talent and message. The recent change in the band’s name from Mofro to JJ Grey and Mofro, further reiterates that this is JJ’s personal message. We always knew it was, but this just makes the point clearer.

Atlanta certainly could be considered a home away from home for Mofro. Geographically located a mere 350 miles north of Jacksonville, Atlantans attending the Mofro show on Saturday displayed their appreciation by keeping side conversations to a minimum and watching and waiting for each song with rapt attention and focus. Mofro delivers a hypnotic funk/soul review and a well paced show, performing an even amount of material from their four studio albums. I cannot stress enough that you NEED to catch this show when they’re in town!

JJ Grey and Mofro
October 11, 2008
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA

Set: Higher You Climb, Air, She Don’t Know, Jookhouse, I Believe, Dirtfloorcracka’, Ybor City, Lochloosa, Devil You Know, Orange Blossoms, War, Move It On, WYLF, Junior, Ho Cake
Encore: Sun is Shining, On Fire, Everything Good Is Bad
Encore2: Ho Cake

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