Proud Jacksonville native JJ Grey was inspired to create music that goes with good friends and good times — not unlike other great Jacksonville bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Otis Redding and George “the Possum” Jones. He and band Mofro bring their eclectic brand of roots, rock and soul to the Granada Theater Friday night.
First-timers can expect a show that will “span the gamut and have all kinds of different moments,” Grey says. He looks forward to bringing opening band Galactic to the stage for a few sets, and he says that fans can expect to hear a few songs off his nearly complete new record.
Grey, who has been making music since the early ’90s, when the band was simply called Mofro, says that creating music is an almost spiritual event for him.
“The thing that stays with me the longest is that [music] creates a connection between everybody else around you,” Grey says.
“The thing that stays with me the longest is that it creates a connection between everybody else around you,” he says. “The only way to realize that connection is to stop thinking about it and let it happen.”
Grey has played festivals all over the world, from Montreal to Japan, including staples like Bonnaroo, Wakarusa and ACL. Dallas has been on his rotation for years, and he says the Granada is one of his favorite places to play.
Opening act Galactic are veterans of the New Orleans music scene, often collaborating with legends like the Neville Brothers and Soul Rebel Brass Band or more recent successes such as Trombone Shorty (of Treme fame).
“Galactic is one of the highest energy shows out there,” Grey says. “They blazed a path for a lot of people to play music in the world we play in. They kept doing it and doing it until here they are. I am grateful to those guys. I opened for them a long time ago and they helped me out when I first got started.”
For those wary of the backwoods and swamps of Louisiana and Florida, this is spectator viewing in a close but safe environment. Besides, Southerners are, if nothing else, welcoming.
JJ Grey & Mofro play the Granada Theater Friday, October 26. Galactic opens at 9 pm; Mofro goes on at 11. Check out JJ Grey’s first live album, Brighter Days and Galactic’s 2011 release, The Other Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans.