JJ Grey talks touring, family life ahead of House of Blues show

JJ Grey is the voice behind JJ Grey and Mofro. The band is a mixture of blues, rock, funk and soul out of Jacksonville, Fla.

Grey has been performing since he was 17 years old and began calling his sound Mofro back in the mid-90s.

“A guy at work used to call me that,” Grey says of the term “Mofro.” “I thought it sounded Southern and doesn’t really mean anything in particular.”

Influenced by Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals, Otis Redding, and Jerry Reed, Grey is a fan of all genres.

“I love Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, George Jones and Willie Nelson,” Grey said. “I also love Blackflag, The Dead Kennedys, you name it.”

JJ Grey and Mofro is a seven-piece band, although at times there may be as many as 10 band members on stage.

“The guys are awesome,” Grey said of Mofro. “I’m fortunate to have the guys with me that I’ve got working with me and playing for me.”

When writing, Grey has learned that just letting it happen is the best way. “I build up a bunch of ideas and sit down and listen to them all,” Grey said. “I let any of it try to reach out at me and inspire me and then go from there.”

When it comes to touring, Grey enjoys all aspects.

“There’s only one downside to touring for me,” Grey said, “I don’t want to be gone long enough that I come back and my daughter looks two sizes bigger.”

“I don’t go out for two months or something like that,” he said of touring. “We go out for about 10 days. That’s my limit.”

When Grey is not on tour, he enjoys surfing and being outdoors. “I like working outside,” he said, “But, surfing is the thing. I can go out there and just chill out and decompress.”

After almost 20 year of touring, Grey said, “I just want to continue to share an honest moment with the audience and in doing that I feel like time stands still when that happens and I want to live in that moment. I just want to live there. We’re just going to keep doing that. Enjoying the moment with people.”
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If You Go

JJ Grey and Mofro will be performing at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach Friday, Dec. 27.

This concert features Tyler Childers. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $22.50-$30.

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