An interview with JJ Grey

by Ansley McDurmon

Self-described soul – rock – fusion outfit JJ Grey & Mofro created good vibes to keep Spring Party 2013 in full swing despite a potentially rainy weekend.  Lead singer JJ Grey sampled songs from his many award-winning albums, including Orange Blossoms,Country Ghetto, and his newest release, This River.  Students and fans gathered in the Fowler Center to experience Mofro, as Grey titles himself, in his element.  Amidst swing dancing and head bobbing, the Sewanee community gathered to appreciate soulful music on a beautiful night.

I had the honor of speaking with JJ Grey after his performance, and found myself pleasantly surprised by the singer’s friendly, conversational attitude.  After hours on the road and an incredibly smooth performance, Grey had no qualms meeting fans or spending time with a student interviewer.  His interests range from surfing to spending time with his young daughter, and Grey appears to enjoy discussing each in depth.  Global warming, pythons in the everglades and his childhood each deserve a place in his discussions, he notes.  In fact, Grey proposes that the greatest men (and his very inspirations) were not solely musicians, fathers or businessmen.  JJ Grey & Mofro bandmates stand as testament to Grey’s belief: ex-members include a doctor, lawyer and several self-described “family men”.  One might say that it is this diverse background that makes the band so interesting – how else could one sing about life unless he had lived through its many differing aspects?

So, Sewanee students, if you find yourself looking for something new in your music life, turn towards the king of Florida soul himself – JJ Grey.  “Orange Blossoms”, “Your Lady, She’s Shady” or “Country Ghetto.”