LiveDC: JJ Grey & MoFro @ 9:30 Club
BYT Staff | Apr 23, 2013 | 2:45PM |

all words: Kerri Pinchuk, all photos: Jeremy Kim

“Y’all ain’t gotta be bashful, just sing when you want to!,” JJ Grey drawls from the 9:30 Club stage. “If someone next to you tells you to be quiet because they didn’t come here to hear you sing, then they came to the wrong goddamn show.” Ever the gentleman, that JJ, but hundreds of Grey’s biggest fans packed into every corner of the club, can’t come close to matching the soul man’s energy.

042013JJGrey930Club15

 

The frontman of his touring band JJ Grey & Mofro, Grey’s sold out another show on a tour that hits requisite East Coast spots before shipping off to Germany in May (fact: Eastern Europeans live for Southern rock). Credit Grey’s booming, blues-soaked voice, frantic harmonica playing, and some downhome charm: an irresistible combo that makes him one of the genre’s most beloved stars.

>>>>>>>>>>>> Here is a Featured Event >>>>>>>>>>>>
Friday 03/10
Caroline Rhea from The Caroline Rhea Show and Biggest Loser LIVE at Arlington Drafthouse @ Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
$25 / $25
Caroline Rhea, stand-up comedian and actress, brings a fresh, smart and spontaneous approach to all of her work. In 1989, Caroline ventured to New York to start her career in stand-up comedy. She studied in the stand-up program at the New School of Social Research and trained at the comedy club, Catch a Rising Star. With nightly gigs at New York's venerable clubs, Caroline's status quickly grew and she became an integral part of the city's comedy scene. Her career was further boosted by numerous appearances on "MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour," "Comic Strip Live" and "Caroline's Comedy Hour." For the last seventeen years, Caroline has continued to perform to sold-out audiences in top comedy clubs all over the country and in Canada. Her feature credits include, "The Perfect Man," with Heather Locklear, a supporting role in "Man on the Moon," the story of the late comedian Andy Kaufman, co-starring Jim Carrey, "Christmas With the Kranks," opposite Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, and the wrestling film, "Ready to Rumble," opposite Oliver Platt, David Arquette and Scott Caan. Caroline's television career has taken off since she first starred as Aunt Hilda on The WB's sitcom "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch." She will next be seen in Lifetime's made for television movie "Fat Like Me," airing on January 8th, 2007. She was last seen in a one hour stand up special, part of Bravo's "Funny Girls," entitled "Rhea's Anatomy," which aired on Halloween 2006. Other credits include; host of "The Caroline Rhea Show," regular guest on Whoopi Goldberg's "Hollywood Squares," Drew's girlfriend on "The Drew Carey Show," the made for television movie "Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire," "Pride and Joy" on NBC, Host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser", Comedy Central's "Pulp Comic," "Comic Relief 8" and "HBO's One Night Stand 2005." She also appeared in the pilot of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," written byLarry David. A Montreal native, Caroline currently resides in New York and Los Angeles.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>

042013JJGrey930Club07042013JJGrey930Club09

 

 

Did I mention his voice? Critics praise Grey for his “vivid” lyrics, which follow suit in the Southern tradition of storytelling. But if we’re being 100% honest here, JJ could belt out an ode to fried chicken and mac & cheese (which, of course, he does) and still leave the crowd in a dangerously close-to-permanent state of swoon. His power-packed voice is incredibly soulful, yet smooth—and absolutely meant to sing the blues. Think James Brown meets Johnny Cash, the kind of combo that commands attention and makes you want to drink moonshine.  Or something. Allman-esque guitar riffs, keys, a trumpet, and a sax (the horns with their own choreographed dance routine) serve to enhance the band’s seamless, funky sound.

042013JJGrey930Club11

 

Favorite thing about the show: 1) JJ repeatedly sipped from a red Solo cup, which inevitably led to 2) JJ going off on long-winded tangents about his granny’s cooking, being a father, and his own dad’s advice to him as a kid. And 3) the out-of-the-woodwork superfans with homemade Tshirts and matching printed headscarves.

042013JJGrey930Club01

 

 

Setlist: Less than a week after releasing their newest album, Grey and his six-man band seemed absolutely thrilled to step out on stage. Amid pushing out high-energy favorites (“Lochloosa,” “The Sweetest Thing,” “Country Ghetto,” “Orange Blossoms”) that had fans following JJ’s sing-along orders, the band tried out a song or two hat had yet to be played for the D.C. crowd, including a call-and-response version of “Your Lady, She’s Shady.”

 

 

Though I’ve never been to any sort of gospel performance, I’m willing to bet that it’s extremely similar to what went down in the club on Saturday night. Songs like “Brighter Days” had the entire crowd yelling, dancing, and clapping along, with JJ shimmying across the stage with a tambourine.

042013JJGrey930Club10

 

 

Weirdest moment: Coming across a crew of svelte, likely Eastern European women in the bathroom was definitely a first for me at the 9:30 Club, but the experience once again proved my long-held theory: swamp rock knows no borders.

042013JJGrey930Club02042013JJGrey930Club06042013JJGrey930Club03042013JJGrey930Club04042013JJGrey930Club05042013JJGrey930Club08042013JJGrey930Club13042013JJGrey930Club14042013JJGrey930Club16042013JJGrey930Club17042013JJGrey930Club18042013JJGrey930Club19042013JJGrey930Club20

042013JJGrey930Club21042013JJGrey930Club22042013JJGrey930Club23042013JJGrey930Club24042013JJGrey930Club25042013JJGrey930Club26042013JJGrey930Club27

Comments: