J.J. Grey kicks off Vail’s Hot Summer Nights | VailDaily.com

J.J. Grey kicks off Vail’s Hot Summer Nights

Vail Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyJ.J. Grey, who plays in Vail Thursday, says his songs focus on the culture and the landscape of the south

VAIL, Colorado – Southern musical storyteller J.J. Grey and Mofro kick off the 2009 Bud Light Hot Summer Nights free concert series Thursday at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado. Grey grew up in the swamplands of northern Florida, and his songs focus on Southern culture and the degradation of the environment. The band is named for a lumberyard where Grey used to work.Grey says his songwriting influences are varied. “I listen to people who tell the story,” he says, naming Muddy Waters, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Reid, Otis Redding, Van Morrison and Bill Withers. As a performer, he says, he is influenced by the sexually charged blues of Howlin’ Wolf, the country soul of George Jones, the hard funk of James Brown and the smooth R&B of Donny Hathaway, along with local personalities like street preachers and radio disc jockeys of his youth.The band has performed at the Bonnaroo festival and opened for Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Galactica, B.B. King and Jeff Beck..The gates of the amphitheater will open at 5:30 p.m. and JJ Grey and Mofro will hit the stage at 6:30 p.m. The Bud Light Hot Summer Nights free concert series is organized by the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information, contact 970-949-1999 or visit http://www.vvf.org.

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