Southern-style swamp soul | VailDaily.com

Southern-style swamp soul

Pete Fowler

Special to the DailyMofro plays its Southern-swamp rock Thursday night at 8150.

VAIL – Southern boys at heart, the “southern-fried swamp funk” group Mofro draws influence from the land around them, sharing a deep love for the natural world and the diminishing swampland and Florida wilderness. The group plays 8150 Thursday at 10.”I’ve lived all my life beneath the watchful eye of these towering oaks, long leaf pine, cypress and cabbage palms. These red clay roads blistered out to sand by the intense Florida sun, these tea colored creeks warm and full of fish, these beautiful gardens full of whatever seasonal crop we’ve laid down. These old chicken farmers who helped raise me have given me so much more than a place to hang my hat. They’ve given me a home, they’ve given me roots and honestly that has as much or more to do with who I am musically as any of the songs I’ve listened to growing up,” songwriter JJ Grey writes on the Mofro’s Web site. Playing anything from “the heart-breaking Southern-ballad to the festive juke house romp,” solid funk grooves keep many of the songs rolling. The band can take on a number of different instrumentations. In addition to writing songs, Grey plays guitar, piano, harmonica, bass, drums and sings. Surfing trips actually took Grey around the world before music did. “JJ makes the ladies swoon,” said Crawford Byers, talent booker for 8150.

Guitarist Daryl Hance shapes the band’s character by playing an often slick and mellow slide guitar. Taking the less-is-more tack, Hance focuses on artful playing, rather than flash or speed.”He may sit quietly for hours but when he speaks it means something. His guitar becomes that same voice,” said the bio on Mofro’s Web site.Mofro just released their second album, “Lochloosa,” on Swampland Records. It was produced by Dan Prothero, who is loved by artists like Papa Mali, who share similar backgrounds and styles to Mofro.For ticket information, log on to http://www.club8150.com.

Pete Fowler is a freelance writer and can be reached at p_fowler1@yahoo.com.Vail, Colorado