From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, Jacksonville, Florida native JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live – and you truly, absolutely must – the man is fearless. Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty. As a boy, Grey was drawn to country-rockers, including Jerry Reed, and to Otis Redding and the other luminaries of Memphis soul; Run-D.M.C., meanwhile, played on repeat in the parking lot of his high school. Merging these traditions, and working with a blue-collar ethic, Grey began touring as Mofro in the late \’90s, with backbeats that crossed Steve Cropper with George Clinton and a lyrical directness that made his debut LP Blackwater (2001) a calling-card among roots-rock aficionados. Soon, he was expanding his tours beyond America and the U.K., playing ever-larger clubs and eventually massive festivals, as his fan base grew from a modest group of loyal initiates into something resembling a national coalition.
More than three decades have passed since Los Lobos released their debut album, Just Another Band from East L.A. Since then they’ve repeatedly disproven that title. Los Lobos isn’t just another anything, but rather a band that has consistently evolved artistically while never losing sight of their humble roots. Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy Award winning band (Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded their major label debut How Will The Wolf Survive? in 1984. Louie Perez, the band’s drummer, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music the soundtrack of the barrio. Three decades, two more Grammys, a worldwide smash single (“La Bamba”) and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well – and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973.
Founded in 1996 by brothers Luther (guitar and vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, piano, synth bass, programming, and vocals), North Mississippi Allstars are the product of a special time for modern Mississippi country blues. The Dickinson Brothers soaked up the music of their father, Memphis legend Jim Dickinson, and absorbed the North Mississippi legacy while playing and shaking it down in the juke joints with their blues ancestors. Eventually, they pioneered their own brand of blues-infused rock and roll and the now venerable North Mississippi Allstars are entering their third decade with their bred-to-the-bone musical sensibility, unstoppable energy, rhythmic reinvention, and potent messages of positivity, family, and hope.
Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 21 years of age, Greenville, South Carolina’s Marcus King possesses a dazzling musical ability. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls \”soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock,\” King’s music demonstrates gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts.