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JJ Grey still has plenty of mojo for Mofro
The band is called JJ Grey & Mofro, but Grey himself has been the only constant of the Jacksonville, Fla., group, which specializes in a loose concoction of rock. blues soul and funk.
And he credits the membership churn with allowing the music to change and evolve over the course of his nine albums, including this year's "Ol' Glory."
"The guys playing it has changed over the course of almost every album," Grey, 48, says by phone from his home in Jacksonville. "It changes because life changes. Sometimes they get better gigs, bigger gigs or just sick of being on the road.
"But my process hasn't changed. Like anything, man, your arsenal gets a little deeper over time. Early on you probably sound way too much like people you like, maybe put a little too much mustard on the hot dog. Later on you settle down and don't think about it anymore and who you are starts to come through more. I definitely think that's happened for me."
Another development for Grey -- working on his voice, which is a recent development after not worrying about it for the 15 years of his career with Mofro.
"Yeah, I just sang and let fall where it may," he recalls with a laugh. "But lemme tell ya there's a reason people practice. It actually does help. So that was a revelation; even at 48 years old I'm still learning that practice does make you get better at what you do."
And, Grey adds, that practice may well help he and Mofro go on another 15 years -- and even beyond if plays it right.
"It sure seems like yesterday," he says of the group's formation in 2000. "I remember somebody once said that they say life's short but, no, life's long when you make bad decisions. Some things seem like yesterday to me, some things seem like 100 years ago, and it's the stuff that seems like yesterday that was the best, so hopefully I can have a long life that feels short."
JJ Grey & Mofro and honeyhoney
Saturday, Nov. 7. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $25.
Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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