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JJ Grey does Q & A with Buffalo News

Tell Me / A Little Q & A
Posted on: Saturday, 5 July 2008, 21:00 CDT
Jana Eisenberg, Special to The News
Source: Buffalo News

An old soul with a bit of the gospel in him, JJ Grey, 40, and his band Mofro put forth a heartfelt sound that holds appeal across a wide spectrum: blues lovers, alt-country fans and the soul- infected. Words like "swamp funk" and "down-and-dirty swagger" have been used to describe it, but I believe it'd best be experienced live. You'll get a chance to do so at next week's installment of Thursday at the Square, when JJ and the guys open up for Jimmie Vaughan in Lafayette Square. For more info, check out www.mofro.net.

Grey spoke from his home in the town of his ancestors, 40 miles outside of Jacksonville, Fla.

>You seem connected to "place" with a capital P.

I've spent a lot of time on the road, and I lived in London for a while. The way things started looking is that the answers to questions we have -- like "Who am I?" or "Why am I here?" -- are behind you, not in front of you.

Life is out of control. People are addicted to immediate gratification. When I look at those who are balanced, they have discipline. That ties in to people I grew up around -- and wanted to get away from. But now, I find that these older people have the things that I want; they are rooted, which allows them to know where they are at all times.

>What connection is there for you between film, books and songs?

Songs and books are both just stories. It used to be all stories were handed down in song. Films, books and plays are part of the re- enactment thing that humans have always done. It's connected to the spirit and soul of being human; to relive moments and tell these experiences. The past is what helps you remain sane.

>There's a very male vibe to your music, your band, your reading and movie tastes, etc.

I am a man.

>Clint Eastwood is one of your favorite directors. Why?

Honesty. No matter what the film is, he doesn't give simple resolution or release. He's relentless. That is reflective of how I see the world.

>You sound very philosophical.

It's impossible to make sense out of things. My song "War" is not about the war in Iraq; it's more about the war between your own ears. I'm as guilty as anyone sometimes of wanting to fight someone else's battles rather than the one that really matters. Then again, I could be wrong. One philosophy I do say is that I'm wrong a lot of the time.

(c) 2008 Buffalo News. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.





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