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JJ Grey & Mofro Brought A Groovin Good Time To The Emerson [VIDEO]

JJ Grey & Mofro at the Emerson
Photo by KMMS

Do you know when a live show just feels right? When your night is transformed into something unexpectedly special and you think, there is no other place I’d rather be right now? That was the case for me last night when I went to see JJ Grey & Mofro at the Emerson.

I was a fan of JJ Grey & Mofro before the show, I am a much bigger one now. Since I hadn’t heard them live prior to last night, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. There always seems to be some element of surprise in seeing a band for the first time. I go into every show with preconceived notions of what a band will sound like and how their music will make me feel. You would think you’d have a good idea of what to expect when you’re quite familiar with a band’s recordings but that just isn’t the case, at least for me. Countless times I’ve been both let down and pleasantly shocked by live performances.

As I said, I was already a fan of JJ Grey & Mofro before seeing them live. I’ve got a couple of their albums (which are regularly returned to my ears for soulful comfort). I guess I was still a little shocked when seeing them live because of how uplifting the experience was. The band was not set up on the main stage (which definitely surprised me), instead they played the small adjacent ballroom (probably due to the small crowd). As a fan, this both pleased and subdued me. I felt fortunate for the opportunity to see them in such an intimate setting, but also a bit disheartened for the band (who deserves more).

Not only did JJ Grey & Mofro make the best of things last night, they genuinely appeared in the moment. “In the moment” for a musician is, and always should be, “in the music”. Everyone on that stage seemed overjoyed to be playing to anyone (1 or 1,000).

The reality last night for these accomplished musicians was playing before a hundred or two people in one sweaty little room, and they reveled in it. JJ Grey couldn’t hide an infectious smile and spirit that uplifted us all. The music didn’t hurt either. I think I’ll attempt to classify it now as authentic southern gospel blues soul and folk. Everything about the music was authentic, these guys feel it in their soul and effortless release it. Every song was a treat last night, in particular “Slow, Hot & Sweaty” (which I wonder was on the set list beforehand?), “The Sweetest Thing”, “Orange Blossoms” (that got me jumping), and “Country Ghetto”. Excellent show!

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