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Soul at the Boot

Florida’s Mofro brings the front porch to the locals’ living room

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Who: Mofro

Where: Boot Pub

When: Thursday, Nov. 25

Tickets: $15

There’s a Florida out there that isn’t shown in the Disney World brochures. A gritty, humid place full of gators, mudders, and juke joints where they play the devil’s music. A place where the air is thick as soup and all the pianos are endearingly off tune. You’ll know you’ve arrived when the suffixes start to go all ’hatchee and ’loosa on you.

While you’re down there, if you listen good, you just may hear a couple of laid-back crackers strumming harmonica-laced funk and soul jams. Them good old boys would be Mofro: country boy/surfer JJ Grey and his "guitar playing buddy," of 15 years Daryl Hance.

Worlds away from the bombastic Miami club scene and the squeaky clean pre-fab pop of the New Mickey Mouse Club alumni, theirs is the sound of down home country-fried Florida, what they’ve tagged as "front porch soul." The county thing isn’t just a gimmick. When he’s not playing music multi-instrumentalist Grey farms organic vegetables on his grandparents’ old chicken farm where he was raised. Front porch soul has a real life front porch.

The boys don’t distance themselves from being called rednecks. But in their case it’s more a term of endearment, a catch phrase to describe a lack of pretension rather than a "shoot Billy and Captain America off their choppers" sort of sentiment. These boys probably would have invited the fictional film duo to join in a song or two.

And it takes a special brand of redneck to describe one’s roots as lyrically as Grey does on Mofro’s Web site.

"That warm, slow, southern, drawl. Words flow out of my Granny’s mouth like butter," he writes. "Like many a southerner, she can also sit quiet and play the dumb one, never let on for an instance that behind those smoldering eyes she’s already read you like a newspaper."

Mofro released their second album Lochloosa (told ya there’d be ’loosas ) last July, the follow up to their acclaimed debut Blackwater . Y’all Ready, Dirtfloorcracker, How Junior Got His Head Put Out – the track list alone is evidence enough that no one’s managed to citify this duo yet.

They should feel right at home in Whistler. On Thursday, Nov. 25 Vancouver jam-band promotion house Upstream Entertainment is bringing the band and their sun-baked sounds to the Boot Pub, with openers Nine Mile. It’s no front porch, but the "locals’ living room" is damn close.

She’ll do just fine.

For more information go to www.upstreamentertainment.com or call 604-932-3338.

Nine Mile will stick around for two more shows Saturday Nov. 27 at Merlin’s and Sunday, Nov. 29 at Dusty’s.

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