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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Alligator/Proper Records artist: JJ Grey & Mofro - This River - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, This River (June 24, 2013), by JJ Grey & Mofro and I really like it. Opening with Your Lady, She's Shady, Grey lays down a hip hop style rhythmic attack with ultra cool horn, harp and guitar solos. On Somebody Else, one of my favorite tracks on the release, Grey sounds a lot like Al Green in arrangement and style with it's prancing strut. With reverb on the guitar, Stax style drumming and horns on the bottom, his song is really sweet. 99 Shades of Crazy is a straight up rocker with a blues twist. Grey knows how to use rhythm and the vocal blending and horn support makes this a strong radio candidate. The Ballad Of Larry Webb is an extremely tasty track. Strong melody and vocal execution with only minimal instrumentation for atmosphere, this is another of the best tracks on the release. Florabama is a funky pop like track and actually reminds me a lot of Kiss (Prince). Addition of sax and trumpet work on this track gives it a lot of texture adding texture. Write A Letter is another strong ballad with strong instrumentation. Mofro, made up of Andrew Trube on guitar, Anthony Farrell on keys, Todd Smallie on bass, Anthony Cole on drums and organ, Art Edmaiston on sax and Dennis Marion on trumpet. Harp and Drums is a funky track primarily featuring Grey on harp. A strong contemporary hip hop influenced jazz track allows room for a lot of the players to take their turn at the mic. Last up is the title track, This River, a quiet and strongly country influenced ballad. This is another track that should have strong mass appeal. This is a cool release from an already established band. I believe that it will reinforce it's existing fan base and should generate interest for new listeners as well.

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