Jax-native and Mofro frontman in the studio to promote the Blackwater Sol Revue
With his signature voice, a singular fusion of musical styles and lyrics that draw on a deep sentimentality for his native city, singer-songwriter JJ Grey has amassed a formidable catalog of songs, as well as a large and dedicated following.
As the frontman of Mofro, the Jacksonville native enjoyed early success with the band’s 2001 debut Blackwater. On the group’s 2004 follow-up, Grey’s idiosyncratic mix of riff-heavy, funk on tracks like “Dirtfloorcracker” and melodious pining on ballads like “Fireflies,” established Mofro as a truly distinctive act.
Listen to Melissa Ross interview JJ Grey about the Blackwater Sol Revue on First Coast Connect: Listen Here
But Grey’s fusion of blues, soul and rock didn’t fit neatly into the roots-rock revival that was underway in the early part of the 2000’s. In the nearly two decades since, the music of JJ Grey & Mofro has continued to elude straightforward description. Still, Grey’s signature sound remains in high-demand, as he’s toured the world with similarly genre-defying acts like Galactic and Widespread Panic.
Last year, Grey returned to Northeast Florida to reopen the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, kicking off the venue’s 2021 season.
Beginning Friday, March 11, Grey will again help The Amp get its concert season in gear, with the Blackwater Sol Revue, a two-day music and camping festival featuring performances by multi-instrumentalist Ben Harper, iconic reggae band Steel Pulse, rock duo Larkin Poe, funky New Orleans jam band Dumpstaphunk and more. JJ Grey & Mofro will perform on both nights.
Earlier in the week, Grey stopped by First Coast Connect to chat with Melissa Ross about the festival and perform a solo rendition of “This River,” the title track from JJ Grey & Mofro’s 2013 full length. Watch the performance below.
Song: “This River”
Camera, Audio and Edit: Andrew Wiechman