The new JJ Grey & Mofro album ‘Ol’ Glory’ is to be released this month on the Provogue/Mascot label group [23 February 2015.]
We have been listening:
The songs on Ol’ Glory are ample in length and all seem to contain a boundless fascination with the splendor of the commonplace …
Those little events that seem trivial to outsiders— – yet they mean everything to those who appreciate the wonder-filled building blocks of their natural life.
‘The Island’ has slowly snaking rhythms together with seductively alluring slide-guitar whispers.
JJ Grey’s voice here is crisp as parchment – opaque – it radiates the warm ember glow of a welcome home.
This piece is a deep and sincere – alluding to the mourning of loss and then those blissful moments of rediscovery.
‘A Night To Remember’ is warm and rocky.
The rhythms are accented perfectly and carefully crafted – the guitar work is agile and the exuberant horns are often under-stated, yet worldly-wise. This is a trim and fighting-fit rock number with a mighty-fine soulful side.
‘Light a Candle’ has a hugely satisfying rhythm (Andrew Trube, drums) and that kind of skirt swaying swing that is so captivating. Yes, this a traditional rolling blues hymn — delivered with a warming heart and deeply touching chorus.
We get some guitar-fireworks on ‘Hold On Tight’ — lots of squelch and opulence. The lively and infectious rhythms plus slabs of horn sound will ensure beaming smiles all-round. Grey’s vocal is as dry as scrub and as rough as hopsack – it spectacularly delivers on intensity, drama and esteem.
Title track ‘Ol’ Glory’ contains a pebbled guitar and a cheerfully optimistic beat. This is classic rockin’ and rollin’ gospel.
With a model call and response and a funky beat — this will brighten any day.
The album is completed with the pensive folk number ‘The Hurricane.’ This is a reflective meditation on our little place in this wonderfully complex existence.
It is also, perhaps, a comment on Katrina. We are just fragments in a vast mechanism. However much we might value our lives. We are tiny. It makes no sense to blame God for our misfortune.
This is a wonderful collection of modest, hook-filled blues gospel numbers.
One gets the feeling that JJ Grey is recreating some new-found spiritual joy here. Because Ol’ Glory is stuffed with happy reminiscences and down-home gospel contemplations.
Words: @neilmach 2015 ©
You can pre-order the new JJ Grey & Mofro album Ol’ Glory before it’s released everywhere on February 24th, 2015!
Ol’ Glory is available in both CD and LP format from: http://www.merchlackey.com/mofro/