JJ Grey & MOFRO – Orange Blossoms

January 01, 1970

(Alligator Records)

 

www.alligator.com

 

There’s nothing particularly different about this MOFRO album
–  it’s just a stronger distillation of
the band’s vision. Like the three previous very fine records, the focus is on
JJ Grey’s soulful, deep-south vocals and earthy tales while the sticky,
slow-grinding funk grooves of the band push the songs along. But like they say,
if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and this might be MOFRO’s best effort yet.

 

There’s a celebratory vibe to the chorus of the title track
while the introspective last cut “I Believe (In Everything),”with its liquid
guitar line, full-bodied horns and gospel backing vocals, is enough to draw a
tear. Packed between are ten more songs that move from the ominous piano crawl
of “She Don’t Know” to the juke joint banger “On Fire” to the sympathetic
strings working with understated harmonica on “Dew Drops.” While the tempos dip
and sway they’re always covered by shadows and thick air.

 

JJ Grey & MOFRO are one of the preeminent southern soul-blues
bands of the day. Everything is rooted in Grey’s Florida backwater roots and the man is the
real deal. Orange Blossoms is the newest chapter of a
timeless band with legs to run the long race. Like the state flower that adorns
this album’s cover, each time MOFRO deliver an album you can smell the place as
it instantly transports you to Grey’s back porch staring out over the
swamp.   

 

Standout Tracks: “Dew
Drops,” “I Believe (In Everything)” AARON
KAYCE

 

 

 

 

 

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