Jacksonville-based singer/songwriter JJ Grey will release This River on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. This is Grey's seventh album (his fifth for Alligator Records) and his first studio album since 2010's acclaimed Georgia Warhorse. The New York Times says Grey's singing is "impassioned" and the band plays "riff-based Southern rock, cold-blooded swamp funk and sly Memphis soul."
This River, like his previous releases, was produced by Grey and Dan Prothero, and recorded at Retrophonics Studio in Saint Augustine, Florida, with additional recording done in Grey's home studio, known as "The Egg Room."
As proven by his previous albums, Grey is a meticulous storyteller. "Many of the new songs," says Grey, "are about being your own worst enemy, and about normal folks pushing themselves over the edge." Grey's lyrics and slice-of-life scenarios are filled with honest detail, helping to bring his emotionally complex characters to life in songs including Somebody Else, 99 Shades Of Crazy, The Ballad Of Larry Webb and This River. "I see a little bit of myself in these songs," Grey states. "The difference is in the choices people make."
His gritty vocals and punchy horn arrangements add even more depth to the lyrical album. Grey's fervent delivery and the expert musicianship of the band pull the listener deep inside each track, making This River a deeply moving and engaging musical statement. "I took my time and I'm happy for it," says Grey.
For This River, Grey brought the whole band in to the studio and cut most of the tracks live. To JJ, the result was a bit more like their live show. "It adds so much more to the dynamic of a recording. It's so different when you get to play off each other rather than overdub each track," says Grey.
JJ Grey & Mofro will appear at SxSW in Austin, Texas in March and then head out on a massive cross-country tour. Grey and the band have been road-testing the new songs at sound-checks for a while now, and they're ready to hit the ground running. "This time around there's no learning curve," he says. "We'll be ready from the git-go."