Incoming: Live JJ Grey & Mofro DVD/CD


Concert film shot earlier this year
in Atlanta.


By Blurt


Blurt fave
JJ Grey (who we featured awhile back in the magazine and at Blurt-online) will
issue his first live DVD/CD on Sept. 13 – it’s also the first DVD from Grey’s
label Alligator (which we also featured recently, too). Titled Brighter Days, the live concert film was
directed by filmmaker/musician Spookie Daly, whose work has been aired on MTV
Networks, Much Music and Fuse, the film intersperses concert footage with Grey’s
north Florida
home, the inspiration for so much of his music. The film also follows Grey and
company into the studio and features band interviews along with insightful
commentary from Grey and others, recalling the format of classic
“rockumentaries.” The accompanying CD captures almost eighty minutes of crowd
favorites taken from the night’s performances.





Shot on
January 22, 2011 at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, Georgia in stunning HD
and boasting 5.1 surround sound, Brighter
finds JJ (vocals, guitar and harmonica) and his band – Andrew Trube on
lap steel and electric guitar, Anthony Farrell on organ and piano, Art
Edmaiston on saxophone, Dennis Marion on trumpet, Todd Smallie on bass and
Anthony Cole on drums – giving everything they have. Singing and telling
stories with preacher-like conviction, JJ breaks down the wall between the
audience and the performer. “I’ve always felt that music opens the door,” says
Grey, “but we’ve all got to walk through it together.”


The idea for
a film was born several years back when Spookie Daly came to Florida
from his native Boston
to film JJ at his backwoods home. “For years people have been saying to me,
‘You should do a documentary on where you’re from and show that connection to
the music,'” states Grey, “and then others have been saying, ‘Y’all should make
a concert DVD.’ Meanwhile, every time I turned around someone would say, ‘Y’all
need to do a live album.’ So I thought, ‘Let’s do them all!’ That’s when I
called Spook,” says JJ.


Spookie and
JJ originally met in a Salt Lake City
hotel parking lot while both were on tour. “We pulled up to a Travelodge hotel
and I hear someone yelling, ‘Hey!’ It was Spookie. He recognized our
15-passenger van as belonging to a fellow road band and we realized we were on
the same bill that night. We’ve been hanging ever since.” Their friendship
eventually led to Spookie being called in to direct the first JJ Grey video for
the single Orange Blossoms.
The two teamed up again for the virally popular video for On Fire,
set in a miniaturized strip club populated by dolls. “We built the set in my
house and played with dolls for four days. I had a lot of explaining to do when
people came by and saw two grown men playing with scantily clad dolls,” laughs



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