In the middle of Thursday night’s show at The Vogue, JJ Grey took a moment to address a loud and appreciative crowd. “I was asked in an interview once, ‘You sing real loud, how do you keep your voice?’ I just told them, ‘Have an audience that believes in you and what you can do.’ Tonight, I can tell you believe.” With an emphatic response, the sizable crowd proved Grey’s point for him.
Touring in support of their new album Ol’ Glory, which dropped two days ago, the Jacksonville septet delivered their usual solid performance of blues/rock/soul fusion. Using the microphone as a pulpit, preaching and testifying like a Southern Evangelical Minister of Soul, Grey's raspy voice animated and empowered this night's congregation. The crowd was so into the performance that Grey stopped in the middle of "Lochloosa" to remark, “Damn. I wish we were recording.”
Those who are familiar with JJ Grey and Mofro usually fall into one of two categories: you either love them or you like them. Few people don’t appreciate them. I fall into the, “I like them” categor — to paraphrase the massive idiot that is Kanye West, I recognize their artistry. This is a band that delivers a solid and enjoyable show but that show never quite took me into that rare air of “great and unforgettable.” Berry Gordy once asked, “If you were down to your last dollar, would you buy this album or a sandwich?” Well I’m not going to blow my budget and go out of my way to make sure that I have a ticket to see this band but I try to catch the show when they come to town. This is a fun band that delivers an energetic and engaging performance. This one wasn't a “can’t miss” show, but it was a damn good time.