Renowned singer, songwriter and artist JJ Grey has unveiled plans for his highly anticipated new Alligator Records album, Olustee. The release is set for February 23, 2024 on CD, LP and at all digital services. JJ Grey & Mofro have also announced a massive, months-long tour to follow. Today, Grey premiered the album's lead track, The Sea, on all digital services. Grey previously released five groundbreaking, wildly successful albums on Alligator between 2007 and 2013.
On Olustee (Grey's first self-produced album), the North Florida-born and bred Grey sings his personal stories with universal themes of redemption, rebirth, hard luck, and inner peace. With his music, Grey also celebrates good times with lifelong friends, oftentimes mixing the carnal with the cerebral in the very same song. Fueled by his vividly detailed, timeless originals spun from his own life and experiences in the Northern Florida swampland, Grey’s gritty baritone drips with honest passion and testifies with a preacher’s foot-pounding fervor.
Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer is delighted to be working with Grey once again, saying, "I’m thrilled to welcome JJ Grey back to Alligator Records. He is one of the most creative and visionary roots artists, and Olustee is the best album of his career (so far!). He’s a major artist who should be heard by everyone who is moved by deeply rooted American music. It’s a profound and joyous record."
The lead track from Olustee, the riveting, lush and beautiful, The Sea, premieres today on all digital services. Of the song, Grey says, "Some of the quietest and most beautiful moments of my life were in and at the sea. Boat lights twinkling on the horizon or ducking down into the warmth of the water to knock the chill off of the late October wind. For me, the sea has always had a calming effect on my otherwise overactive mind. Once in the water, surfing or even fishing, all nail-biting would stop. All negative mental feedback loops evaporated. Blurring the line between the physical sea in front of me and the infinite sea all around me."
With Olustee, JJ Grey has once again pushed the boundaries of his own creative musical, lyrical and vocal talents, delivering an album that is destined to become a classic. Many of the songs are steeped in the mythical Southern stories of his ancestral Florida home and filled with people from JJ’s life. The songs overflow with the sights and sounds of the region as told through the eyes of a poet and sung with pure, unvarnished soul. The album’s eleven songs range from the raucous, celebratory first radio single, Wonderland, to an escape from an out-of-control wildfire in the title track, to the inward-looking closer, Deeper Than Belief. Singing of his own personal triumphs and struggles, his hopes and desires, his friends and family, Grey’s message is simple and strong -- respect the natural world and always try to live in the moment. And never forget the importance of having a good time.
AllMusic says JJ Grey’s music is “as authentic as the ground under your feet, because that’s where it comes from -- just before it moves, simply and directly, through the body of the listener, into the human heart.”
Now, with Olustee, JJ Grey & Mofro will bring their music directly to fans as they also announce the first set of dates of the 2024 Olustee Tour, along with ticket purchase information.