by Jeff Hahne
JJ Grey & Mofro w/ Hill Country Revue
Oct. 30, 2008
The Deal: JJ Grey & Mofro bring their porch-rockin' swamp blues to the Neighborhood Theatre.
The Good: Hill Country Revue got the night started off right led by North Mississippi Allstars' Cody Dickinson, the band rocked and rolled through a solid set highlighted by a cover of Kenny Wayne Shepherd's "Them Changes" and an incredible washboard solo by Dickinson that sounded more like Jimi Hendrix than anything bluegrass. JJ Grey & Mofro hit the stage a little before 10 p.m. for a two hour set that had the crowd dancing and singing along all night. Grey, who was celebrating his birthday, appeared to enjoy every moment of crowd participation, noting, "We need to bring you guys to every city we play, and I'm not just saying that. We will definitely come back here every tour." The band's setlist was heavy on the latest release, Orange Blossoms, but even the old stuff fit in seamlessly. There were definitely a lot more people there than I expected and most sang along like diehard fans instead of casual observers.
The Bad: The dual-drum kits of Hill Country Revue worked about 95 percent of the time the rest of the time it just sounded washed out or muddied. That's about it.
The Verdict: I saw JJ Grey & Mofro open for The Allman Brothers last year and was immediately impressed by the energetic soul Grey puts into his vocals and lyrics. I caught another bit of them at The Echo Project in Atlanta, but neither performance came close to the energy, excitement and passion put forth last night. Mayb
JJ Grey & Mofro Setlist
I Believe (In Everything) w/ Cody Dickinson
Move It On
Everything Good is Bad
She Don't Know
Higher You Climb
Got My Mojo Working
How Junior Got His Head Put Out