"probably the best recording put out by
any Florida band since Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn the Torpedoes
way back in 1979"
Get the Flash Player to hear the music you're missing.
* PLUS FULL-SCREEN VIDEO (Enhanced CD)
"Hammock, Swamp, Ocean, Scrub. The four trees on the front of this album represent the four distinct areas where I grew up. All four are on the land where I live; all four speak to me about who I am. The four abound at Lake Lochloosa. The higher scrub filled with pines on the way into the creek, the huge cypress that ring the lake, the hardwood hammocks at the creek, and the palm trees that intersperse the whole area and the rest of North Central Florida letting you know you're still near the sea.
They're part of my family. After being away on the road for weeks at a time, there is no way to describe the joy it brings me when I catch my first homeward glimpse of them. I look out at these giants and know that the world in some way still makes sense to me. They open the door to a world that I understand, a place where I can balance the bubble between the lines on my own level of life. They say, 'You are home.'" (JJ Grey from MOFRO)
Produced by Dan Prothero
Personnel: John "JJ" Grey (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Daryl Hance (guitar, dobro), Fabrice "Fabgrease" Quentin (bass), Mike Shapiro (keys), Craig Barnette (drums). George Sluppick (drums, percussion, backing vocals). With special guests Robert Walter (clavinet, electric piano) and Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne (electric guitar), and Todd Sickafoose (bass).
Recommended side dish: Pan fried Cracker Meal shrimp with hush puppies and half-sweet tea.
Click here to download a printable one-sheet for this release (in PDF format).
"Lochloosa" live in San Francisco
MTV profile on MOFRO
That warm, slow, southern, drawl. Words flow out of my Granny's mouth like butter. Like many a southerner, she can also sit quiet and play the dumb one, never let on for an instant that behind those smoldering eyes she's already read you like a newspaper. Her little tin roofed, heart pine, asbestos sided 'cracker' house sits here -- an island in the high piney woods of north Florida.
I've lived all my life beneath the watchful eye of these towering oaks, long leaf pine, cypress and cabbage palms. These red clay roads blistered out to sand by the intense Florida sun, these tea colored creeks warm and full of fish, these beautiful gardens full of whatever seasonal crop we've laid down. These old chicken farmers who helped raise me have given me so much more than a place to hang my hat. They've given me a home, they've given me roots and honestly that has as much or more to do with who I am musically as any of the songs I've listened to growing up.
The heartbreaking southern ballad or the festive juke house romp. The joy to watch the butterflies beautiful dance in the summer sun by day or the mysterious fireflies by night, and then the hole it leaves in your heart, the sorrow, when they're seemingly gone forever. The pain of walking this hard earth, and then the thrill of feeling your bare feet on the ground. The greatest inspiration of all.
These men and women who sing, whose voices move me, whose songs tell me the stories of living, loving, hating, hurting, healing and dieing. Lord I hope I do them proud.
‘‘ One of the 10 Best Releases Of The Year: Bringing a bit of the Florida swampland to your town, MOFRO's second studio release is nothing less than a perfect groove. Down home, dirty soul." — Andrew Strickman, Rolling Stone
‘‘ MOFRO, comprising Floridians JJ Gray and Daryl Hance, is a strange bird of an outfit -- an unmistakably Southern hybrid that maintains elements of funk, blues, country and Dixie rock. But the duo is also undeniably soulful and quite adept at what it does. Down-home funk track 'That Boy,' like most of the songs here, is driven by a rock-solid bottom and more hooks than a tackle box. Grey's honeyed vocals make 'Fireflies' a soul-drenched delight, while Hance's slide guitar work brings back-porch authenticity to the atmospheric 'Ten Thousand Islands' and gutbucket fare like 'Gal Youngin' and 'Pray for Rain.' Grey's vocals are also mighty fine on the glorious 'The Wrong Side' and bluesy 'Everybody's.' MOFRO waxes Bo Diddley on 'How Junior Got His Head Put Out.' But the real showpiece is the title cut, a pining, sorrowful lament about the overdevelopment of the act's home state." — Billboard
‘‘ Few rock bands in the 2000s are more evocative of a specific geography than Florida's MOFRO. You can almost smell the backwoods swamps of the Sunshine State when you're listening to their dusky blend of Southern rock, blues, and soul. The first thing that grabs you about MOFRO's sophomore CD is the deep, soulful grooves that permeate every song, whether on up-tempo funky workouts or lowdown gritty laments. Repeated listens reveal a range of subject matter that moves from domestic abuse to rural overdevelopment to the lost innocence (and cuisine) of youth. As a songwriter JJ Grey presents a well-rounded picture of Southern life, with room for both pride and, in some cases, shame, and his expressive, grits-and-gravy voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver it. Lochloosa is an unpretentious, moving, and inviting album that settles into a humid groove from the onset and never leaves it behind." — amazon.com
‘‘ Three years after their celebrated debut, Blackwater, north central Florida's MOFRO return with another offering of steamy, greasy "front-porch soul" produced by Dan Prothero. Lochloosa refers to Lake Lochloosa, on the outskirts of Jacksonville, FL, the earthly and archetypal home to Mofro's John "JJ" Grey and Daryl Hance. A raw meld of swampy funk, back-to-basics rock, and Southern soul bleeds from these grooves, as it did on Blackwater. Lochloosa is a hand-carved example of the kind of music that happens after midnight when all the civilians have gone home. Things get blurry, intimate, less self-conscious, sexual, maybe even a little dangerous. A practical contrast would be from Florida's own terrain: this set feels more like Tony Joe White than it does Lynyrd Skynyrd. Oh yeah, that is a good thing. The unabashedly masculine, heartfelt concern for the terrain and a way of life that comes from it is presented with wiry, tough, sinewy songs that never stoop to whining or cheap, sloganeering ploys. Here are songs that howl with a down-home recklessness that balances rough-and-tumble celebratory hedonism with folksy backwoods spirituality.
On the title track, Mike Sharpio's Fender Rhodes slips the tune out unobtrusively with a laid-back soul groove that is widened by Hance's slide guitar and a lonely whispering harmonica courtesy of Grey. When he begins singing, straight from the fire in his belly, about spiritual homesickness for a place that is disappearing, he is speaking figuratively as well as literally: "I swear it's ten thousand degrees in the shade/Lord have mercy/How much I love it/Every mosquito/Every rattlesnake/Every cane break/Everything/All we need is one more/Damned developer/Tearin' her heart out/Lord I need her and she's slippin' away/." Desire drips from a heart breaking with sadness, love, and rage. The drums shuffle more insistently; the groove gets longer, more intense, more mournful and sweet. In the grain of his voice is the sound of the land itself: desolate, hot, full of wildness and serenity. It is endangered; it is being erased from historical memory by Mickey Mouse, gated communities, and golf courses.
An answer is in Dirtfloorcracker, a stomping Bootsy Collins-inspired slice of edgy funk; it's a swampbilly anthem disguised as a party tune. Fireflies is another unsentimental tune about the land where the music of the country meets down-home muddy soul. The spooky, electric moaning blues of Ten Thousand Islands scratches the tradition until it bleeds. The shambolic gospel-blues of Long Road Home near the album's close asks the question "Do you know where you're goin'?" and it's an ellipsis, a cipher. Even as Grey roughly croons it into the air, he seems to query not only the individual, but history and the viral imposing culture of greed and power as well. As it ends in a lingering silence before the solo acoustic blues of Pray for Rain closes the record -- another lyric example of disappearance -- one cannot escape its poignancy. Lochloosa is a startlingly good, perhaps even great, record by a band that revels in mystery, history, and deliriously infectious grooves." — allmusic.com
‘‘ Grey writes some of the most evocative stories of bygone rural life sinces The Band's early records, and Hance's understated guitar complements the songs and never distracts. After a 15 year partnership, they're on top of their game" — Blues Review
‘‘ No matter what genre of music I've been listening to recently, it's all been a nightmare - one I couldn't seem to wake up from until I heard the recently released CD 'Lochloosa,' by what is easily the best, most original and passionate band to come out of Florida in at least two decades.
MOFRO's sophomore CD, 'Lochloosa' is not only the best CD I've heard so far this year, it's probably the best recording put out by any Florida band since Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 'Damn the Torpedoes' way back in 1979.
In another era when substance meant more than image, JJ Grey - MOFRO's vocalist, who also plays guitar, piano, bass, harmonica and drums on different tracks - would be revered as rock's next big thing. With a voice that's one part Ray Charles, one part Gregg Allman and one part Otis Redding, Grey shows that he's also a keen songwriter with an understanding of his surroundings not seen in the Sunshine State since the death of Ronnie Van Zant.
What becomes crystal-clear after just one listen is that MOFRO doesn't need videos to drive a point home. Grey's poignant lyrics and the band's gut-busting music create more imagery than any three-minute video could ever hope to muster." — news-press.com
‘‘ Few rock bands in the 2000s are more evocative of a specific geography than Florida's Mofro. You can almost smell the backwoods swamps of the Sunshine State when you're listening to their dusky blend of Southern rock, blues, and soul. The first thing that grabs you about Mofro's sophomore CD is the deep, soulful grooves that permeate every song, whether on up-tempo funky workouts or lowdown gritty laments. Repeated listens reveal a range of subject matter that moves from domestic abuse to rural overdevelopment to the lost innocence (and cuisine) of youth. As a songwriter JJ Grey presents a well-rounded picture of Southern life, with room for both pride and, in some cases, shame, and his expressive, grits-and-gravy voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver it. Lochloosa is an unpretentious, moving, and inviting album that settles into a humid groove from the onset and never leaves it behind." — amazon.com
‘‘ MOFRO's second release has a laid back brilliance... The deeply soulful songs are delivered with measured grit, driven by JJ Grey's distinctive expressive croon and the succint guitar and dobro of Daryl Hance." — Relix
‘‘ It's hard to even start writing about the band's sound without using terms like 'earnest' and 'authentic', words that I have used as the shitty stick with which to beat many a nu metal band, but in the case of MOFRO, for once they apply in the positive. Take the heady title track for instance. Forget the fact that the band are drawing on blues and country moves that have been used for decades and let yourself fall into the calluses in JJ Grey's voice and absorb the richness that drips from every scrape and whine of guitar, whinny of harmonica and subtle percussive clack. Preconceptions are easily washed away with their conviction and spirit, enjoyment is merely a case of travelling with the music, however hippyish an assertion that might be, and steering away from ones bad white soul experiences. Do that and you will surely fall in love with what is a f**king great album of funky blue country.
For the first time in too long I really let myself go in the company of an album and dropped my critical armour and my experience was all the better for it. I have built walls of cynicism and superiority around me over the years (revved up in the majority by rotten blues-rock) without really even noticing it and "Lochloosa" has punctured them with the brilliance of its conviction. It is to their merit that they managed to turn the head of a sour faced curmudgeon like me and I challenge anyone, regardless of their preconceptions, to not feel warm in the company of this record." — this is not tv
‘‘ In a music business that knows our state mostly for Dashboard Confessional, Creed and teen pop, we're not lacking in carefully marketed MTV stars. That makes the music of MOFRO a precious commodity indeed." — The Orlando Sentinel
‘‘ a master storyteller" — An Honest Tune
‘‘ An honest, down-home storyteller with one hell of a voice, and genuine love for the swamplands where he grew up... The somber, solo work in "The Long Way Home" brings Grey to the forefront of singer-songwriters. But what makes Lochloosa more than a record is the title track itself. Not only is the tune a notable standout among many runner-ups, it's most representative of his distinct artistic voice and the best piece of his still very young career. " — Glide Magazine
‘‘ Mofro marries Lynyrd Skynyrd to the Isley Brothers and throws a great reception" — The Oregonian
‘‘ If this only grows on you after each listen, then I'm in trouble. I am floored from the very first listen. I dont know what it is. But the music, the whole jammin on ya porch feel, the Incredible Richness of the sounds, the soul, everything. I dont even think I can break this disk down track by track because the whole damn thing is flawless." — fan mail from Kevin