MOFRO is led by singer / songwriter JJ Grey who grew up outside Jacksonville, developing a taste for raw grooves and living a life to inspire his soulful lyrics. Blackwater, Mofro's debut release on Fog City Records, maintains the label's focus on musicianship, fat tones and good times, deepened by insights into a place and culture that is slipping away with Florida's steady march to "progress".
Guest drummer George Sluppick (on loan from Robert Walter s 20th Congress) says: I feel like we've connected with each other on a very deep level... it's funky and groovin', like fried catfish and turnip greens... it's uplifting and spiritual, like grits and bacon... it's Southern to the core. My peoples!
Special guest: Robert Walter (Fog City recording artist and founding member of The Greyboy Allstars)
Reissued by Alligator Records (Oct 2007)
This is an ENHANCED CD: In addition to more than an hour of boombox-optimized barbeque soul, this CD can also be placed in the CD-ROM drive of most computers for a multimedia experience that a live video of "Ho Cake" (recorded in studio during the Blackwater sessions). It's got soul, and it's superbad!
Florida's Mofro know you don't need a studio full of fancy effects to make a funky record. The act's debut CD spins tales from the Blackwater region around "front-porch soul," a stripped-down collection of bottom-heavy beats and hip-shaking rhythms. This is the kind of record G. Love should be making, a flawlessly tight package of funk, gospel, blues, and rock & roll fronted by singer-songwriter J.J. Grey. Although there are a number of instruments filling out the songs--slide guitar, bass, harmonica, keyboards, sax, and percussion--the arrangements all feel sparse enough to create an organic, authentic, easygoing vibe throughout the record. From the early Rolling Stones-esque blues of "Brighter Days," to the mouthwatering funk of "Ho Cake," Blackwater pays the highest respects to this area of northern Florida, both musically and lyrically. --Jennifer Maerz