Tag Archives: JJ Grey

Supper time! Southern Soul Assembly at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Southern Soul Assembly
The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Virginia Beach, VA
March 15, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

In 2014 Southern root greats, Luther Dickinson, JJ Grey, Marc Broussard and Anders Osborne came together to form the side project Southern Soul Assembly. The sound was a colossal joining with Broussard’s “Bayou Soul”, Grey’s Florida blue collar funk, Osborne’s rugged blues from New Orleans and Dickinson’s smooth casual Beale St storytelling.

Once in a blue moon audiences have the opportunity to see collaboration projects like that of the Southern Soul Assembly. The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, VA, provided such an opportunity on March 15th when the southern quartet, SSA, cascaded on to the stage. Continue reading Supper time! Southern Soul Assembly at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

JJ Grey & Mofro at the Jeff

web 001JJ Grey & Mofro released their seventh studio album Ol’ Glory last week and took to the road to celebrate. The band pulled into the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday, March 4, a night ahead of the East Coast’s most recent snow storm, to heat up the stately renovated old venue.

 
The nearly sold out Wednesday night crowd didn’t need much help getting into the show, but got a quick charge of adrenaline when the band opened with fan favorite “Brighter Days.” Playing such an anthem to start the night foretold that Grey had many things he needed to get to, most importantly his new material. Mofro played six of the twelve new songs from Ol’ Glory, demonstrating that Grey’s self-revealing and soulful song writing shows no indication of slowing down.

 
Highlights of the new material included “A Night to Remember,” a bouncy R&B song with a tasty horn track reminiscent of the best of the Stax label’s Memphis Horns. Then the album’s title track “Ol’ Glory” served as the final encore. From the opening Fender Rhodes keyboard sound and the infectious and fast horn line, the song settles on the back of the hard driving and funky bass line. This song whipped the crowd into a frenzy and left everybody wanting more.

 
The musical highlights of the night came on two trusted favorites. “Lochloosa” is a song that never disappoints live, and although the band plays this song regularly, the power of “Lochloosa” consistently brings out the best in Mofro. The second came during the song “Ho Cake,” which was extended to allow the band to stretch out. This was an electric twenty minutes of music showing what a group of road warrior musicians can do after playing together for years.

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The scene was set for this moment with a beautiful set design. A gigantic tapestry hanging across the back of the stage depicted the new album cover and gave the sense you were looking out a picture window onto an old tree in a meadow. The stage was adorned with lamps and end tables further giving the sense you were watching these guys in the comfort of their living room.

 

 
After the initial verse and chorus, the band took off on a ride, bringing the audience with them. Bassist Todd Smallie and drummer Anthony Cole play together like they were brothers brought up in the same house. They play web 024with joy, constantly adding little things and watching each other react. The rest of the band gets in on it as well and before long the musical conversation has gotten deep. As solos bounce around from one bandmate to the next, the supporting cast listens and reacts, displaying an understanding that was born out of hundreds and hundreds of nights playing together. Capping it off when the vocals return, Grey tries to stump the band with how he approaches the lyric’s rhythm. The band never misses a stop, leaving everyone laughing together like best friends.

 
JJ Grey is an honest and adept front man, building a band deserving of his heavyweight talent. This is a can’t miss tour and if you are a fan you need to get out and see it.

 

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour Featuring JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson on Tour this Fall

Southern Soul Assembly—an artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson—recently announced its highly anticipated follow-up tour, set to hit west coast venues this November. The tour, which launches November 11 in Sandpoint, Idaho, hits 11 cities including Seattle, Washington, Portland and Eugene, Oregon, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA, Denver and Boulder CO and others.

“The South is in each of us,” says JJ Grey. “Each night feels like a big ole Southern family reunion.”

 

Tuesday, Nov 11 – Sandpoint, ID Panida Theater
Wednesday, Nov 12 – Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Thursday, Nov 13 – Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Friday, Nov 14 – Eugene, OR McDonald Theatre
Saturday, Nov 15 – Reno, NV Cargo Reno
Sunday, Nov 16 – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Tuesday, Nov 18 – Los Angeles, CA Regent Theater
Wednesday, Nov 19 – Flagstaff, AZ Orpheum Theater
Thursday, Nov 20 – Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Friday, Nov 21 – Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Saturday, Nov 22 – Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
www.southernsoulassembly.com

 

 

Southern Soul Assembly tour

bannerThe Southern Soul Assembly—an artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson—heads out on its debut tour this spring, with 17 stops beginning March 18 in Chicago and wrapping up April 12 in Washington D.C. The complete list of tour dates is included below.

Each of the four musicians comes to the SSA with a proven track record in the often-overlapping genres of music most closely associated with the South. “That’s where we all come from,” says Grey, best known as the frontman of Jacksonville, Florida’s JJ Grey & Mofro, whose hybrid mix of soul, funk, blues and gutsy rock is sure to find its way to the Assembly’s gigs as well. “The South is in each of us.”

Indeed, each member brings a strong Southern pedigree to the tour. But as Louisiana’s Broussard explains, “I’d say we all have a different take on what the South really is. I come from the hub of Cajun culture, distinct in many ways even from New Orleans just down the road. From what I can tell, we all seem to approach writing with groove in mind, for the most part. But the physical locales from which we each hail, as well as the accompanying cultural implications, necessarily prompt us all to approach lyric writing differently.”

“Man, each of these guys can play,” says Grey. “It’ll be fun to hand the song off, trade songs and go around the horn. It’ll be like, let’s work our way through the night and see what happens. Of course, the audience always plays the show with you, and I think that will be especially true with this tour. Each night will feel like a big ole Southern family reunion.”

The idea for the band and tour came about, says Grey, because, “Most of us know each other pretty well just from crossing paths on the road. There is a common theme underlying what we each do—it’s the South, the landscape and the culture of our surroundings. That theme is present in each of our song collections. But we all have different perspectives,” he adds, “and the flavors vary. It’s going to be fun, and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

With each artist uniquely inspired by his deep Southern roots, the Southern Soul Assembly tour promises a passionate, authentic and deeply soulful homage to the rich Southern musical spirit.

Stay tuned for news and more details as the tour approaches.

 

The complete list of The Southern Soul Assembly Tour dates is as follows:

 

Tuesday, March 18 S.P.A.C.E. Evantson IL
Wednesday, March 19 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
Thursday, March 20 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Kenny Foster
Friday, March 21 Center Stage Atlanta GA
Saturday, March 22 Savannah Music Festival Savannah GA
Sunday, March 23 Suwannee Springfest Live Oak FL
Tuesday, April 1 Saenger Theatre Mobile AL
Wednesday, April 2 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
Thursday, April 3 Riley Performing Arts Center Meridian MS
Friday, April 4 Manship Theatre Baton Rouge LA
Saturday, April 5 T-Bois Blues Festival Lacrose LA
Monday, April 7 Texas Union Ballroom Austin TX
Tuesday, April 8 House of Blues – Boston Boston MA
Wednesday, April 9 Norwalk Concert Hall Norwalk CT
Thursday, April 10 Grand Opera House Wilmington DE
Friday, April 11 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg WV
Saturday, April 12 The Howard Theatre Washington DC

 

www.southernsoulassembly.com
www.facebook.com/southernsoulassembly

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour Featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour announces its debut run this Spring 2014. Hitting 16 U.S. markets in March and April 2014, this artist-in-the-round performance series features JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson.  For The Southern Soul Assembly Tour, these four talented singer/songwriters take the stage for an amazing night of songs and stories.  With each artist uniquely inspired by their deep Southern roots, The Southern Soul Assembly Tour promises a passionate, authentic, and deeply soulful homage to the rich Southern musical spirit.

 

The complete list of The Southern Soul Assembly Tour dates is as follows:
Wednesday, March 19 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
Thursday, March 20 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Kenny Foster
Friday, March 21 Center Stage Atlanta GA
Saturday, March 22 Savannah Music Festival Savannah GA
Sunday, March 23 Suwannee Springfest Live Oak FL
Tuesday, April 1 Saenger Theatre Mobile AL
Wednesday, April 2 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
Thursday, April 3 Riley Performing Arts Center Meridian MS
Friday, April 4 Manship Theatre  Baton Rouge LA
Saturday, April 5 T-Bois Blues Festival Lacrose LA
Monday, April 7 Texas Union Ballroom Austin TX
Tuesday, April 8 House of Blues – Boston Boston MA
Wednesday, April 9 Norwalk Concert Hall Norwalk CT
Thursday, April 10 Grand Opera House Wilmington DE
Friday, April 11 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg WV
Saturday, April 12 The Howard Theatre Washington DC

Additional dates to be announced.

www.southernsoulassembly.com
www.facebook.com/southernsoulassembly

Spring Back to Vail, 4/12/12 – 4/15/12: Grace Potter, Thievery Corp, JJ Grey, Iration

Spring Back to Vail
Vail, CO
April 12-15, 2012

 

 

While virtually the entire rest of the country is busy proving that Punxsutawney Phil was once again full of shit when he and his top hat wearing handlers predicted that we would have an extended winter, the folks in the destination town of Vail, CO are still as rosy cheeked as the rest of us were when waiting in line for that 3-D TV that we now realize was an awful buy in spite of its low price on Black Friday. And this past weekend, they all “sprung back” with four day weekend long event dubbed Spring Back to Vail.

These events are becoming increasingly common in the village that skiers flock to when they want to experience some of the best powder and slopes that the Rockies have to offer. Amongst others, the snowboarder’s mecca boasts such events as with the annual Snow Daze and Teva Summer and Winter Mountain Games.

Just as with these other events, Spring Back was based around sport, but not just any old sport… the World Pond Skimming Championships.

Of course there was also music throughout the days and at the close of each night, the organizers brought in quite a diverse bunch: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (Thursday), Thievery Corporation w/ DJ Logic (Friday), JJ Grey & Mofro (Saturday) and Iration (Sunday).

 

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the event by Zach Mahone

(Zach’s photo journey on Facebook)

 

 

 

 

Swamp Talk: an Honest Tune Interview with JJ Grey (VIDEO)

web-008.jpgWhat can be said about JJ Grey that hasn’t been said before? Bringing up Grey in conversation inevitably brings about partisan discussion. But, the conversations stay music focused, and for good reason. With Mofro’s stellar level of improvisational musicianship, the stage for delivery is laid neatly at JJ’s feet and he has run with it.

Aside from this, what is perhaps most compelling — and possibly dividing — about Grey is the fact that he fills the aforementioned space with integrity.

Sure, he is a soul singer, songwriter and musician, but there have been a lot of those. What sets Grey apart is his unique storytelling ability. His vocals are guttural, his stage presence is large, his soul shines even when it does so darkly and his overall sound is honest.

Continue reading Swamp Talk: an Honest Tune Interview with JJ Grey (VIDEO)

Jam Cruise Artist Testimonials, Part Two: JJ Grey, Zach Deputy & Greensky Bluegrass (VIDEO)

jc header promo.jpgIt is a well known fact that we absolutely love Jam Cruise. Simply put, there really is nothing about the five day adventure that is not lovable. The sun in January, the vast and endless sea as a backdrop and sit-ins that literally only happen on Jam Cruise all make for an annual event that is in a league unto itself.  Of course all of this fails to mention the camaraderie  of the passengers.

Over the years, so many incredible talents have graced the decks and theatres of the various boats that Jam Cruise has called home. So with this upcoming sailing being the monumental tenth one, we thought that a series featuring artists (who have played on the boat) telling Jam Cruise stories and testifying to the event’s greatness would be appropriate.

In the first part of this series, we sat down with Michael Franti, Grace Potter, Cornmeal’s John-Paul Nowak, and the Everyone Orchestra’s Matt Butler. This time, JJ Grey, Zach Deputy and Greensky Bluegrass’ Anders Beck and Mike Devol all share their thoughts and memories from their time sailing the high seas of Jam Cruise.

Continue reading Jam Cruise Artist Testimonials, Part Two: JJ Grey, Zach Deputy & Greensky Bluegrass (VIDEO)