MOFRO : : HARD WORKING BAND

MOFRO with Greyhounds :: 06.24.04 ::Gypsy Tea Room :: Dallas, TX

Florida-natives MOFRO worked the crowd Thursday night after a live set from Texas-bred Greyhounds. It was a southern-fried evening, filled with keys rippling like the waters of a secret swimming hole and harmonica that took everyone back to where they're from.

Sadly, I missed the Greyhounds, but the crowd reported a high-energy show. One interesting aside--the band is currently touring without a bass guitarist and leaves the bass notes up to the keyboardist, who already has a pretty full plate. But I wasn't completely Greyhounds-less, as Anthony took the stage and belted out a solid rendition of a MOFRO original. JJ Grey (MOFRO vocals, guitar, organ, and harmonica) stood mid-stage during the tune, appreciative and content with the evening's state of affairs.


Daryl Hance (MOFRO guitar) at Bonnaroo 04
By Jeremy Jones
MOFRO does laid-back melodic very well. Rhythm underlines each track and even the smoothest tunes perpetuate a bounce in the knees. They rocked the house too: the Gypsy Tea Room was crowded with dancers, onlookers, and alcohol aficionados--gamblers, ramblers, and rogues. MOFRO balanced both sides of the tempo coin--they rocked the house and they slowed it down real nice during the set without putting anyone to sleep. One tune in particular, from the upcoming album Lochloosa, quieted the audience as they stood and enjoyed the sentiment put into the keys-heavy number.


JJ Grey at Bonnaroo 04
By Jeremy Jones
It was about two years plus since I originally interviewed Grey after a show at the Tea Room. I caught up with him again after this show to see how the life of MOFRO has changed in the last couple of years.

"We're still doing it, one fan at a time," Grey said.

He mentioned that support has been strong all over the country. It seems that Northerners and West Coast players have a taste for collard greens and cornbread after all. Luckily MOFRO is around to provide the southern sustenance they require.

"The Big Wu show was the best of the tour," Grey said of the Big Wu Family Reunion the band had just played in Minnesota. "It's a good place up there."

Along with good response from the road crowds, hometown reaction to the band is incredible. "We play at thousand-seat halls in Tampa," Grey said, "And, really, all over Florida we get a lotta love." Grey compared the "don't mess with Texas" sentiment adopted by most Texans to that of Floridians who share a similar feeling of state pride.

With two of its members having played together for about 17 years, it looks like MOFRO is heading up and out. And having earned its spot by ceaseless playing, I'm glad to see MOFRO flourish and see the crowds at their shows grow "one fan at a time." Look for MOFRO's new album, Lochloosa, now available and look for Blackwater to be re-released soon. For further info check out www.mofro.net for more information.

Jake Lewis
JamBase | Texas
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[Published on: 7/7/04]

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