JJ Grey and Mofro: Georgia Warhorse (Alligator/Southbound)

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JJ Grey and Mofro: Lullaby
JJ Grey and Mofro: Georgia Warhorse (Alligator/Southbound)

Grey and his companions out of Florida have been pulling Southern funk, Memphis soul and dirty blues together for the best part of a decade now and their 07 Country Ghetto album should have gained them a lot of mainstream attention. But it didn't.

This one – with guest vocalist Toots (of the Maytals), and hot young blues guitarist Derek Trucks laying sweet and spooky slide on the closer Lullaby --- doesn't quite have the same upward trajectory and the material isn't as affecting.

The opener Diyo Dayo shaves off a slice of old Dr John funk but almost immediately things slow down the acoustic ballad King Hummingbird which, although soulful, at seven minutes hobbles the energy established.

After that it is patchy: Grey and Toots are excellent foils on the horn-backed Sweetest Thing; fans of early Joe Cocker will delight in the aching ballad Gotta Know and Beautiful World.

But material like All – which you know would be a killer live – hits a relentless soul-belter middle ground, as does the slide'n'harmonica title track and Hide and Seek, and only in the closing overs does the soul-momentum pick up with The Hottest Spot in Hell and, surprising, with the increasingly rowdy Lullaby.

We might have to wait for the live album or, better, a live showing.

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AngelaS - Sep 16, 2010

I rather like the gritty echoey nature of the track -just on the tolerable side of too heavy -- are you expecting too much of them?

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