Every time you buy a Jack Johnson CD you’re helping the environment. Johnson takes part in One Percent for the Planet, donating one percent of his income to green causes. That certainly helps with the guilt of opening your wallet at the music store. But then again Johnson’s music is hard to resist. His melodic songs and soulternative grooves are as infectious as a high ridge sunset, and his honest vibe assures that he loves Mama Nature as much as he says he does.
The gritty electric outfit has become a popular touring act regionally and across the country for its original brand of amplified front porch soul and delta-style funk, relying on the pleasantly raucous vocals and harmonica of front man JJ Grey and the rocking slide licks of co-founder Daryl Hance. But the band also appeals with the honest modern storytelling of old traditions in the landscape of the country brush.
Grey grew up and still lives on his family’s farm in rural flatlands of Northern Florida among tall pine forests, tea colored creeks and red clay roads. Through belly-deep vocal howls, heavy on the drawl, his lyrics starkly tell his of personal passion for the area and disdain at its continuous development. The group is currently working on the follow-up to its to stellar independent releases “Blackwater” and “Lochloosa.”
The earthy and elegant songstress is a recent head turner in Americana circles for a post-modern blend of bluegrass, folk, and old-time gospel. Despite leanings of acceptance into the polished world of country, Young is a crunchy activist at heart, proudly preaching about her support for local and organic farming, environmental advocacy, and disappointment in America’s current political climate. The latter she explores beautifully in her latest release, “The Art of Virtue,” which intends to show stark contrasts between today’s times and the ideals of our founding fathers.