By Meagan Iwaniszek Reynolds
The Harvester Performance Center closed out a legendary week of music last night with a standing-only show by J.J. Grey & Mofro, with opening act Major and the Monbacks. This show was the fourth in a series that kicked off on Thursday with Buddy Guy, followed by Charlie Daniels Band on Friday night, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers on Saturday.
Blue Ridge Rocks photographer Meagan Iwaniszek Reynolds was on site for three of those four shows. You can read the full review on Buddy Guy here, and check out Meagan’s review and photos of Friday nights’ and last nights’ shows below.
J.J. Grey & MoFro / Major and the Monbacks
Last nights show was awesome! The crowd really turned out for this Sunday, standing-only show. Major and the Monbacks, from Norfolk, opened the show with lots of energy, and a variety of new and older songs, showcasing the talented and unique vocals of each of the three songwriters within the band, guitarists Michael Friedman, Harry Slater and Neal Friedman on keys.
A couple highlights for me were the songs “We Are Doing Fine” and “Annabelle”. You can catch this band back in Roanoke on October 27th at Martin’s Downtown.
By the time JJ Grey & Mofro went on, the room was full of excited fans ready to dance and get down. They opened the show with “Brave Lil’ Fighter”, followed by “A Woman and 6 Ways”.
JJ talked a lot about growing up in Florida, specifically his small hometown of Lochloosa, for which he titled one of his albums. A few highlights from his set for me were the songs “Hide and Seek,” “The Sun is Shining Down,” and “Brighter Days.” I was very impressed with his powerful and soulful voice, and became an instant fan.
JJ Grey and Mofro band is headed to Europe for the Rawa Blues Festival this weekend, followed by a few more European dates. They will be back on tour in the US mid-October.
Charlie Daniels Band
Charlie Daniels put on a heck of a show Friday night at The Harvester. At 79 years old, he can still bring the house to their feet with his powerful vocals and energy on fiddle and guitar. He even took a second to take a selfie with keyboardist and Roanoke native, Shannon Wickline.
The line was wrapped around the building hours before the doors opened with fans eager to get in. Several of whom had the lucky opportunity to attend a meet and greet with Daniels before the show.
Daniels sang a lot of classics, like “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” “A Few More Rednecks,” and “In America,” along with an instrumental song showcasing each band member’s skills. He concluded the show with the hit “Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
Daniels reminisced a lot about his hometown Wilmington, NC and his career. He left his hometown in 1958 to pursue a music career and has been fortunate to still be doing it to this day. He also talked about playing with Bob Dylan, and first meeting his old friend Johnny Cash, after which he followed with a cover of “Folsom Prison.”
All three shows I attended this week have been incredible. The Harvester and its volunteers, as always, did an excellent job of keeping things moving and accommodating for both the bands and the crowds.
Click on any image to start slideshow