JJ Grey

JJ Grey: The kid from Lochloosa stands out from Mofro.The kid from Lochloosa stands out from Mofro. Tobin Voggesser
JJ Grey: The kid from Lochloosa stands out from Mofro.The kid from Lochloosa stands out from Mofro. Tobin Voggesser

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As part of the Surfin Snook Summer Jam. 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 12551 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $21.50. Visit surfriderpbc.org.

If you've ever been to Lochloosa, you'd wonder why JJ Grey is always singing about it. It's up in Florida lake country, past nothing and halfway to Hawthorne. I think there might be a Hardee's. But there's something in Grey's voice when he sings about his hometown. There's something that feels like real homesickness. I first heard that in Grey's voice back in 2002 at the Tampa juke joint Skipper's Smokehouse. It's a place that's nothing more than some park benches, corrugated metal, and a sound system. It actually feels like it could be in Lochloosa. Back when I saw them at Skipper's, it was just Mofro. Now it's JJ Grey & Mofro, and at Surfin Snook Summer Jam on the 20th, it'll be just JJ Grey. That headlining status is indicative of the change in Mofro: Now the spotlight is always on the kid from Lochloosa. No doubt Grey's voice has always been the soulful center of Mofro. He sounds like a Southern-rock guitarist bred with a Motown vocalist. Combine it with that dime-store electric piano he plays and it's clear why Grey can pick who backs him.

 
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