With Blues Roots, You’re Gonna Drag In Some Mud

“Swamp rocker” J.J. Grey and his band Mofro open a triple bill at the Paramount Tuesday.

“Swamp rocker” J.J. Grey and his band Mofro open a triple bill at the Paramount Tuesday.

By Peter Sloggatt
psloggatt@longislandergroup.com

They’re gonna make some noise when a triple bill of American originals hits the stage at The Paramount Tuesday.

It’s not enough that “swamp rocker” J.J. Grey and his band Mofro share the bill with guitar prodigy-turned-legend Jonny Lang, a guest appearance by the racous North Mississippi Allstars should raise the roof right off the rafters.

It’s going down Tuesday night, July 16, and the card is so full it will take an early start to fit everything in. Show time is 6:30 p.m., so make your dinner plans for early.

Who are these guys that are going to make even The Paramount’s sturdy steel timbers shake?

Straight out of gator country, J.J. Grey ‘s raw vocals and backwoods blues guitar earned him his own genre – swamp rock. Grey grew up in what he calls the “Redneck Triangle” outside of Jacksonville, Fla. Home is a pecan grove that was his grandparents’ place.

Grey cites as influences everything from church preachers to the bands he heard in juke joints near home along the Georgia border. His music is honest, visceral and – delivered with a distinct voice that wraps the best Southern rockers around a Delta bluesman. Hard to ignore.

Jonny Lang’s bringin’ his guitar.

Jonny Lang’s bringin’ his guitar.

If that’s not enough awe for one night, bring on Jonny Lang, who can make a guitar do things a guitar’s daddy doesn’t even want to think about.

The music world isn’t sure if Lang earned his chops or just was born with ’em. Could be his DNA is made from the steel of a guitar string.

He was just 12 when he caught the attention of Buddy Guy, with whom he still tours today. Lang regularly trades riffs with the best of them – Clapton, B.B. King, Keith Richards – and channels Jimi Hendrix on tour with Experience Hendrix.

Like J.J. Grey, Lang’s honesty and boyish charm come through despite the power chords.

North Mississippi All Stars top the bill at Paramount.

North Mississippi All Stars top the bill at Paramount.

Then there’s the North Mississippi All Stars, set to do what they do best: make some noise. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson – sons of producer and session player Jim Dickinson – write and play their own brand of blues-based roots music that springs, as they say, straight from the Mississippi mud.

It’s gonna be a night. Tickets are  $39.50 to $74.50. Visit the Paramount box office or go to paramountny.com.