JJ GREY & MOFRO at Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA

Photos and Article Written by Kevin Graft

JJ Grey made his post pandemic return to Sacramento Sunday November 7th almost two years after last playing Sacramento in January of 2019 at The Crest Theater.  If you are not familiar with JJ, his career started over 20 years ago and he has a velvety thick smoky voice and writes songs that hit close to the heart and a funky band that keeps your booty shaking.  JJ had a decidedly more relaxed nature this time around hitting the stage in a ball cap, nice shirt and slacks compared to the spiffy suit and tie of the last tour.  JJ and the band quickly settled in to their specific brand of uplifting rockin’ swamp soul with Country Ghetto and JJ blowing some harp along the way and dancing a bit of a jig. 

Somebody Else kept the groove going with JJ grabbing a guitar.  For Every Minute, JJ stepped back and let the rest of the band shine especially bass player Todd Smallie and guitar player Andrew Trube who jammed front and center. Midway through the set Lochloosa incited one of many crowd sing alongs.  Orange Blossoms was a raging foot stomper with lots of horn blasts.  The Sun is Shining Down ended the set on a somber blast of a note.  Sadly, the encore of Brighter Days didn’t get played due to the Live Nation curfew of 11pm.  Concerts generally shouldn’t have curfews.

JJ is long overdue for a new album……but a little bird informed me that the band has been recording so hopefully we’ll get new music in 2022.  His last album Ol’ Glory was released in 2015.  Catch JJ & MOFRO on tour every chance you get.

JJ Grey set list

Country Ghetto

Somebody Else

Every Minute

Jookhouse

Brave Lil’ Fighter

99 Shades

This River

On Fire

House Rising Sunday

Lochloosa

Orange Blossoms

Lazy Fo Acre

Ho Cake

The Sun Is Shining Down

Find more info about JJ at his website: www.jjgrey.com

Opening the show was TK & the Holy Know-Nothings from Portland, Oregon showcasing songs from their latest album The Incredible Heat Machine.  I would describe them as a dingy backwoods redneck rockin’ honky tonk county band whose truck broke down in the city and never left.  A bit of dirty grit amongst the lively songs with plenty of chops from all of the members.  I look forward to catching a headlining set in the near future.

TK set list

Serenity Prayer

Tunnel Of A Dream

Lonely Drunks

Frankenstein

I Lost My Beer

Bottom Of The Bottle

Hell Of A Time

Hard Times

Lord

Check out their website.

TK & The Holy Know-Nothings (tkandtheholyknownothings.com) 

I'm a screenwriter, journalist, independent filmmaker and photographer when time permits. I cut my teeth in Journalism with Klusterfuct Magazine, Fringe Magazine and finally Your Music Magazine interview bands such as Rob Zombie, Korn, Unearth, Shadows Fall, Rise Against, All That Remains and many more. Fed up with the politics involved in working for someone else I ventured out on my own journey and started creating short films in hopes to one day create feature films, but alas I missed writing about bands that mean so much to me, so here I am...fighting the good fight, fighting the metal fight!
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