Roots-rock group JJ Grey & Mofro is back and ready rock Howelsen
STEAMBOAT TODAY — When swamp-rock roots virtuosos JJ Grey & Mofro left the stage in 2010, they left the audience wanting more after the encore.
“It was my favorite concert we’ve ever had,” said Brian Smith, Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series board member.
This weekend, Grey’s grooves will return to headline the Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series show starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Howelsen Hill Amphitheater. Opening act will be the soul Americana duo Freddy & Francine.
“He’s just so vibrant and has a presence on stage, he seems like a really nice person and it conveys through his songs,” Smith said. “That, and I guess I like that soulful, dirty swamp music.”
Smith said the band has their own concoction of roots, funk, gospel and a bit of Southern rock ‘n’ roll. His favorite albums include “Lochloosa” and “Orange Blossoms.”
“Those two albums stand out to me because if you listen to the words, they are true stories about his life and growing up in Jackson, Florida. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s those life events that happened that he then puts into his songs.”
“I like an album to have a balance, like a novel or like a film,” said Grey, in a recent news release from All Eyes Media on the new album. “A triumph, a dark, brooding moment, or a moment of peace — that’s the only thing I consistently try to achieve with a record.”
According to his bio, in 1998, Grey started to release his original music under the name Mofro and later expanded the name to JJ Grey & Mofro and toured 200 days in a year. From Florida bars to headlining concerts and festivals across the country, the group has also garnered national accolades from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
At a live show, however, it’s not just the singing the reels audiences in, it’s the stories too.
“I think it’s the honesty of that swampy blues rock, it’s soulful,” Smith said. “When people are performing it, you can just tell it means something to them.”
This weekend Carey said they are expecting quite a few people from out of town specifically for this show.
“It’s a show that will be fun for everyone and it’s one you won’t want to miss,” Carey said.
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