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CD Review: JJ Grey & Mofro 

Orange Blossoms

The Deal: Fourth album from Jacksonville, Fla., group keeps the Southern groove going.

The Good: JJ Grey's vocals lie somewhere between Joe Cocker and Otis Redding. He's got the growl, soul and emotion to pull it off, too. The album kicks off with the reelin' and rockin' title track that showcases his vocals out front of occasional horns and a backdrop of sound that's straight out of the '60s. When I first heard the group, I (incorrectly) assumed they were out of Louisiana – it's swamp-based rock 'n' soul with some blues and funk mixed in. The album has an old-school feel to it – solid rhythms, heartfelt vocals and powerful vocals. The band isn't afraid to slow things down for "The Truth." With a wah-wah pedal and an organ grinding the groove, "Wylf" sounds like it comes straight out of the '70s without sounding dated. "Ybor City" is a foot-tapping rumbler about the Florida city.

The Bad: The only thing bad is that more people haven't taken notice of Grey's music.

The Verdict: Grey's voice sounds as good as ever and the rhythms are just as down and dirty. Check them out live on Oct. 30 at the Neighborhood Theatre.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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