BOND - Down-home roots, rock and soul artist JJ Grey and his band Mofro are set to rock the house at State Bridge Friday. Grey is touring in support of his first-ever live DVD/CD two-disc set, "Brighter Days."Grey's ability to tell his thought-provoking stories through original songs, informed by a mixture of old-school rhythm & blues and roots rock 'n' roll, has carried JJ Grey & Mofro from the backwoods of Florida to hundreds of concert stages across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. Singing with a passion and fervor directly influenced by his classic soul heroes, Grey's deeply personal songs are steeped in the rhythms of his native home outside of Jacksonville, Fla. Grey comes from a long tradition of southern storytellers and, in that spirit, he fills his songs with details that are at once vivid, personal and universal.Born into a family with generations-old roots in rural Florida, Grey was raised with a combination of backwoods wisdom and old-school, blue-collar values. He heard music at barbecues and in local juke joints, all the while developing a deep love and respect for the land and its culture. Grey's original songs are inspired by legendary musicians, including Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, soul greats Otis Redding and Toots Hibbert, country stars George Jones and Jerry Reed, as well as by Grand Ole Opry comedian Jerry Clower. Whether it is a narrative passed down to him from his grandmother or the tribulations of a childhood friend, Grey's ear for detail rings through in true storyteller fashion.After more than a decade of hard touring and five studio albums, Grey still spends eight months of the year on the road, bringing his music to his loyal, ever-growing, worldwide fan base, laying it all on the line with each and every performance. Grey has played countless festivals, including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Austin City Limits Festival, Byron Bay Blues Festival (Australia), Montreal Jazz Festival and Fuji Rock (Japan). Over the course of his career, Grey has shared stages with the likes of B.B. King, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Los Lobos, Jeff Beck, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Booker T. Jones, Mavis Staples and many others.As old fans know well and new ones keep discovering, a JJ Grey & Mofro show is a musical celebration shared between Grey and his audience, with each driving the other to greater heights. With "Brighter Days" and an overflowing tour schedule, the bond between Grey and his fans grows deeper and JJ Grey's future looks brighter with each passing day.
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