A glorious, soul-drenched delight…
down-home funk, blues and Dixie
rock, unmistakably Southern,
undeniably soulful. Billboard
Here is the million dollar question, would the move to Alligator Records change Mofro? Well, they added horns. Other than that, not to much is different. That’s a good thing. I wonder how much of a following Mofro has outside of Florida, but with the release of Country Ghetto, I have no doubt that it is about to expand. The best way to explain Mofro’s sound is to call it front-porch whiskey gospel. From swampy funk, to rock, to delta blues, Mofro’s music is the dirt under your fingernails sound of the common folk. Much like The Drive-by Trucker’s, Mofro writes about the other side of southern culture, and by other side I mean everything beside the slavery, racism, and troubles so often emphasized in pop culture. As Grey said in a recent interview in regard to the assassination of southern culture, “It’s like the buffalo,” he says. “The Southern culture has almost been hunted to extinction. The South has routinely been picked apart…”
Country Ghetto is Mofro’s strongest release to date. I am gonna add a brief description by JJ Grey of the 3 songs I chose for y’all on this one.
From Florida’s vicious Barber-Mizell feud to religious stand-offs. From race relations to jilted lovers. Sooner or later someone has to break the vicious cycle of he-said, she-said by letting go and moving on.
I grew up when the “root hog or die” days were still fresh in the minds of my parents and grandparents. I was brought up to earn it and not waste it, to respect and protect womanhood and promote manhood, and to be thankful for what you got. By today’s standard we, and most of the folks we knew, lived below the so-called “poverty line.” We were land and culture rich and dollar poor ,but I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for any other. I’ve always felt blessed to be raised here, to know so many larger than life characters, and to steep in the years of blood, sweat, and the grim determination of my people before me. My culture, my life, my love is here in this country ghetto.
When my grandfather was a young man the timber barons came and tried to cheat the folks around Lake Palastine (seven miles south of Olustee, FL) out of their land. The timber men bought off some for nothing and burned the rest out of house and home. I was a youngn when my grandparents told me this story.