A longtime fan of Florida-based swamp rockers JJ Grey & Mofro, I was excited to herald their return to the Pageant just nine months after they rang in the New Year at the venue; but my excitement only grew stronger when it was announced that the opening act would be funky New Orleans rockers the Revivalists.
At age 46, after more than a decade touring, writing and recording his Florida-steeped, swampy blend of rock, soul, funk and blues with his band Mofro, JJ Grey may be at the sweetest point in his life.
Best known as a guitar slinger for the band Mofro, Daryl Hance has recently lit out for solo territory, with blues and groove tightly in tow.
Last weekend marked my fourth journey to Memphis for the annual Beale Street Music Festival. After severe weather last year canceled nearly half of the scheduled acts, and on the heels of last week's violent storms across the South, we went prepared for anything.
The Pageant was already filling up nicely with music fans spanning a wide range of ages as Atlanta-based openers Ponderosa took the stage Saturday night, a perfect pairing for the down-South flavor of JJ Grey & Mofro. While many opening acts are viewed as background music while folks get their beers, find their places and settle in, it was clear from the get-go that the musicians of Ponderosa were not going to accept this passive role.
All photos by Nate Burrell. See more at my Flickr stream.