JJ Grey and Mofro exude rocking, funky, melodic, front porch realism in every song they play. Grey comes from a long tradition of Southern storytellers, and his songs oftentimes use the loss of his natural surrounding and the marginalization of the Southern culture he grew up in as a metaphor for universal truths.
HORN SECTION: Ian Hendrickson-Smith (baritone and tenor saxophone), Cochemea Gastleum (tenor saxophone) and Dave Guy (trumpet). Arranged by Ian Hendrickson-Smith; co-arranged by Dave Guy, Cochemea Gastleum and JJ Grey.
STRING SECTION: Batya MacAdam-Somer (violin), David Medine (violin), Hayley Neher (viola) and Jessie Marino (cello). Arranged by Alex Mincek (strings on The Sun is Shining Down arranged by Alex Mincek and JJ Grey).
LADIES BACKGROUND VOCALS: Liza Oxnard, Hazel Miller, and Linda Lewellyn.
FAMILY BACKGROUND VOCALS (on The Sun is Shining Down): Harley “Uncle Sonny” Higginbotham, Shirley Higginbotham, and Elena Higginbotham. The Higginbothams appear courtesy of the good Lord.
Horns and strings recorded at Threshold Studios, New York City by Ariel Benjamin. Ladies Background vocals recorded at Coupe Studios, Boulder, CO by Greg McRae. Family Background Vocals recorded at Jam Preservez Studio, Valliant, OK by Eugene “Boogie” Tidmore.
Executive Production by Jesse Aratow. Cover artwork by JJ Grey. Graphic design by Dan Prothero and JJ Grey. Photography by Eric Sutton, Dan Prothero, and C. Taylor Crothers.
Our thanks to the following fine folks: Dan Prothero, Jesse Aratow, Jim and Nancy Devito, Madison House, Chris Delucchi, Jeremiah Tesh, Tom Windish, Jim Hance and family, Dave Guy, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, The Higginbothams, Linda Lewellyn, Batya MacAdam-Somer, Jesse Marino, Greg McRae, Dave Medine, Hazel Miller, Alex Mincek, Hayley Neher, Liza Oxnard, Mark Baxter, Ariel Benjamin, Brad and Mindy Mastrine & Baseline Gear, Savannah Buffett, Chowder Teds, Chris Carroll, Will Conner, C. Taylor Crothers, Bart Dahl, Brett Fitzgerald, Galactic, Shaun Gilmour, Willie Green, The Greyhounds, Jensen Hande, Eli Higginbotham, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Legendary JC's, Carrie Lombardi & Madison House Publicity, Megan McFann, Kinsey Miller, Suzi Matthews & New Sensor, Mudkidz, NMAS, Brian Presnell, Chuck Prophet, Spookie Daly, The Yearling, Michael Waggoner and Gibson Guitars.
I grew up when the “root hog or die” days were still fresh in the minds of my parents and grandparents. I was brought up to earn it and not waste it, to respect and protect womanhood and promote manhood, and to be thankful for what you got. By today's standard we ourselves, and most of the folks we knew, lived below the so-called “poverty line”. We were land and culture rich and dollar poor but I wouldn't trade my upbringing for any other. I've always felt blessed to be raised here, to know so many larger than life characters, and to steep in the years of blood, sweat and the grim determination of my people before me.
My culture, life and love is here in this country ghetto.
I see the look in your eyes / I know I'm simple and plain
A country boy can't survive / Too many ways in your game
So you can say what you will / About your helping hand
I know I'll never be more / Than just your dumb white trash
Love touches us all / Yes we're black and we're white
Out here in the cut / Still living side by side
So never mind what you seen / And just forget what you heard
Another ignorant redneck / Just some Hollywood words
Life in a country ghetto
No I'm not tame / The only voice that speaks for me
Speaks from this clay / Lil' boy you ain't never take a dime