Country Ghetto

Country Ghetto

by JJ Grey & MofroJJ Grey & Mofro


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For many people, the word "Florida" conjures up images of sunshine, white-hot sands, and white-hot nightlife. That's not the Florida JJ Grey inhabits. Sounding forth from his ancestral home 40 miles outside of Jacksonville, Grey's Florida is inhabited by water moccasins, gators, and characters whose murky, besotted Southern Gothic pasts match the dreary, desolate landscape. On Country Ghetto, his third album and debut for Alligator Records (of course), Grey and his bandmates revisit the hallowed but largely forsaken musical environs of swamp rock. Taking their cues from early Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tony Joe White, Mofro play a slinky, sinuous brand of Louisiana soul-funk-blues, while Grey himself alternates between the good ol' boy debauchery of Ronnie Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd and the classic soul entreaties of Otis Redding and Clarence Carter. There are highlights everywhere. "Footsteps" quotes from Link Wray's incomparable surf stomp "Rumble" before morphing into the dirty swamp boogie of "Turpentine." "A Woman" finds Grey in pleading Redding mode, complete with spot-on Stax/Volt horns and swirling Wurlitzer, while the funkfest of "Mississippi" and the gorgeous, hymnlike gospel of "The Sun Is Shining Down" showcase both the band's undeniable chops and Grey's raw vocal prowess. There are a few missteps. The dirge-like "On Palestine," another of Grey's back-porch family stories, drones on a little too long, and the closer, "Goodbye," limps toward the finish line. But those are minor quibbles. Country Ghetto is a down-and-dirty delight, and a fine addition to the swamp rock canon.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/20/2007
Label: Alligator Records
UPC: 0014551491422
catalogNumber: 4914
Rank: 27803

Album Credits

Performance Credits

JJ Grey & Mofro   Primary Artist
Hazel Miller   Background Vocals
George Sluppick   Drums
Cochemea Gastelum   Tenor Saxophone
Liza Oxnard   Background Vocals
Ian Hendrickson-Smith   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Daryl Hance   Guitar,Slide Guitar
Linda Lewellyn   Background Vocals
Adam Scone   Organ,Bass
JJ Grey   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Various
Elena Higginbotham   Background Vocals
Harley Higginbotham "Uncle Sonny"   Background Vocals
Shirley Higginbotham   Background Vocals
Batya MacAdam-Somer   Violin
Jessie Marino   Cello
Hayley Neher   Viola
Elena Higginbothan   Background Vocals
David Mediine   Violin
Donna Medine   Violin

Technical Credits

Jim DeVito   Engineer
Dan Prothero   Producer,Engineer,Graphic Design,Audio Production
Cochemea Gastelum   Arranger
Alex Mincek   Arranger,String Arrangements
Ian Hendrickson-Smith   Arranger
Jesse Aratow   Executive Producer
Greg McRae   Engineer
Ariel Benjamin   Engineer
JJ Grey   Arranger,Composer,Liner Notes,Author,Graphic Design,String Arrangements,Cover Art
Eugene Tidmore "Boogie"   Engineer

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