JJ Grey and Mofro have quietly become one of the most reliable recording artists in their category, releasing new material every couple of years. In support of their latest effort, Ol’ Glory, the Jacksonville, Florida-based band braved a snowy, February, New York evening to play for a dedicated Terminal 5 audience. A JJ Grey and Mofro concert is like slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes–and not only because of their proclivity for adorning the stage with lamps, giving the show a distinct living room feeling. Indeed, JJ Grey’s voice is smooth, soulful and inviting, and the funky instrumentals are as playful as they are nasty.
Running up to the Feb. 24th release of Ol’ Glory, one might expect a set list heavily-weighted with new tunes. From the opening bars of their 2013 hit “Your Lady, She’s Shady,” it was clear that the Florida funksters were still very much enjoying getting down with their old tunes. And who can blame them? Mofro travel with a three-piece horn section that can blow the roof off any room, even the behemoth Terminal 5. Grey’s proclivity for stepping aside and watching the band work has reinforced the group’s identity as a jam band, although they are closer to the Muscle Shoals sound than they are to that of, say, Phish.
As JJ Grey and Mofro continue to string together original and solid recording efforts, the band’s live repertoire can only grow stronger. Since their inception in the early 2000s, they have known how to build the kind of chemistry that translates to compelling live performances. The band has figured out a way to go back to the well of creativity time and again and, most importantly, appear to be having a great time doing their thing.
– Eric Russ