Album review: JJ Grey & Mofro, This River (Alligator/Proper)


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The Independent Culture

This River is surely the most accomplished album yet from Florida-based songwriter JJ Grey, whose Southern soul and funk leanings are brought to fruition by the skilled attentions of backing band Mofro.

They excel in a range of grey-themed styles, from the country-soul of “Tame a Wild One”, reminiscent of Dobie Gray, to the rolling R&B of “99 Shades of Grey” and the itchy, Sly Stone-style funk of “Florabama”, Grey’s celebration of Southern states. Grey’s gritty, soul-streaked vocals, though, are best employed on muscular story-songs like “Your Lady, She’s Shady”  – a denunciation of a friend’s partner, harnessed to slippery, fatback drums and streaked with wails of tenor sax and bluesharp – and the stalking Southern soul of “Somebody Else”

Download: Your Lady, She’s Shady; Somebody Else; Florabama; Tame a Wild One