Keb' Mo' - Keb' Mo' - 1994 - Okeh
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.65) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's.": Rolling Stone (12/15/94, p.98) - 3.5 Stars - Good - "...it all sounds seamless...": Q (2/96, p.65) - Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995.: Q (6/95, p.126) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Like Mississippi John Hurt or Taj Mahal, Moore is rooted in songs rather than licks, although his guitar/banjo technique is sharp, hard and irresistibly sparkly....it's precisely because Moore pushes so hard that he's so compelling.": Living Blues (9-10/94, p.66) - "...a fresh take on some of the oldest blues styles...": NME (Magazine) (7/15/95, p.49) - 6 (out of 10) - "...fine versions of two [Robert] Johnson songs plus some experiments with ragtime and pop music, circa 1920. But he's got a modern nous..., some funk plus a husky, keening voice that will endear him to the Jools Holland set..."
Keb' Mo's self-titled debut is an edgy, ambitious collection of gritty country blues. Keb' Mo' pushes into new directions, trying to incorporate some of the sensibilites of the slacker revolution without losing touch of the tradition that makes the blues the breathing, vital art form it is. His attempts aren't always successful, but his gutsy guitar playing and impassioned vocals, as well as his surprisingly accomplished songwriting, make Keb' Mo' a debut to cherish. © Thom Owens © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/keb-mo-r216090
The first solo release by contemporary blues-based artist Keb Mo' mixes a reverence for traditional country blues with more streamlined elements of commercial pop. Despite a convincing "down-home" approach of gravel-textured vocals and superior slide work and finger-picking skills, Keb Mo' avoids the pose of a hard line revivalist. Instead, he chooses to employ his fluency in the Delta tradition as a palette on which to blend a connoisseur's sampling of various musical genres. Country, funk, swing, and late 20th-Century folk balladry (Traci Chapman, James Taylor and Bob Dylan) all manage to make their way into the mix for a seamless blend of roots and radio friendliness. Keyboards, bass and drums (in addition to Keb Mo's contributions on guitar, harmonica and banjo) flesh out breezy soul-inflected pop such as "She Just Wants To Dance" and the island flavored "Tell Everybody I Know." Though gears continue to shift, from organ-drenched gospel to hillbilly lite, Keb Mo' brings things back to the source with inventive homages to the blues altar, such as in his re-casting of two Robert Johnson songs. Though blues purists may find Mo's genre blending somewhat disconcerting, others will find much to appreciate in this accessible, enjoyable, finely honed music. © 1996 - 2011 CD Universe http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1241204/a/Keb'+Mo'.htm
Keb' Mo' takes rock, jazz, funk, pop, and soul and creates a hybrid style of music all his own. Similar to the great Robert Cray, his music has constantly been criticized by blues "purists" for "deviating from the Blues mean". As stated before on this blog, adhering to this "purist" attitude in music, whether it be jazz, rock, blues, or classical would stifle creativity in an artist, and would be a giant musical step backwards. Music is constantly evolving. So it is, was, and always will be. However, the general blues audience appreciates Keb's music. Between 1997 and 2002 he He earned six W.C. Handy Awards as "Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year", so he must be doing something right. If you like artists like Robert Cray and Eric Bibb, you may enjoy this album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 97.8 Mb]. Listen to Keb's "Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Keb' Mo'" album which has a stronger blues flavour.
TRACKS / COMPOSERS
1 Every Morning - K. Moore 3:00
2 Tell Everybody I Know - K. Moore 3:10
3 Love Blues 3:02 - Moore & Powell
4 Victims of Comfort - Kimber & Moore 3:21
5 Angelina - Graper & Moore 3:47
6 Anybody Seen My Girl? - K. Moore 2:56
7 She Just Wants to Dance - K. Moore 3:29
8 Am I Wrong? - K. Moore 2:19
9 Come on in My Kitchen - Robert Johnson 4:09
10 Dirty, Low Down and Bad - K. Moore 3:08
11 Don't Try to Explain - K. Moore 3:58
12 Kindhearted Woman Blues - Robert Johnson 3:29
13 City Boy - K. Moore 4:05
Keb' Mo'- Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo, Vocals
James "Hutch" Hutchinson - Bass
Tommy Eyre - Keyboards
Laval Belle - Drums
Quentin Dennard - Drums on "Angelina"
Tony Draunagel - Percussion on "Come on in My Kitchen"
Keb' Mo' (born Kevin Moore, October 3, 1951) is an American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter currently living in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. From early on he had an appreciation for the blues and gospel music. By adolescence he was already an accomplished guitarist. Keb' Mo' started his musical career playing the steel drums and upright bass in a calypso band. He moved on to play in a variety of blues and backup bands throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He first started recording in the early 1970s with Jefferson Airplane violinist Papa John Creach through an R&B group. Creach hired him when Moore was just twenty-one years old; Moore appeared on four of Creach's albums: Filthy!, Playing My Fiddle for You, I'm the Fiddle Man and Rock Father. Around that time Moore was also a staff writer for A&M Records, and arranged demos for Almo - Irving music. Keb' Mo's early debut, Rainmaker, was released on Chocolate City Records, a subsidiary of Casablanca Records, in 1980. He was further immersed in the blues with his long stint in the Whodunit Band, headed by Bobby "Blue" Bland producer Monk Higgins. Moore jammed with Albert Collins and Big Joe Turner and emerged as an inheritor of a guarded tradition and as a genuine original. In 1994, Keb' Mo' released his self-titled debut album, Keb' Mo', which featured two Robert Johnson covers, "Come On In My Kitchen" and "Kind Hearted Woman Blues". In the Martin Scorsese miniseries The Blues, Keb' Mo' states that he was greatly influenced by Johnson. In 1996 he released Just Like You, his second album, which featured twelve songs full of Delta rhythms. He won his first Grammy Award for this album, which featured guest appearances from Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. On June 10, 1997, Moore performed on the television program Sessions at West 54th. He joined musicians Laval Belle on drums, Reggie McBride playing bass, and Joellen Friedkin on keyboards to perform fourteen songs, some from each of his albums. Blues pianist Dr. John also made a guest appearance. This session (known as Sessions at West 54th: Recorded Live in New York) was shown on television, but was not released as a DVD until late 2000. Slow Down, his next album, was released in 1998 and featured twelve songs. It earned him a second Grammy Award. The album begins with the song "Muddy Water", a tribute to Muddy Waters. It also features a song entitled "Rainmaker", which had been released previously on his first album, eighteen years prior. The song was rerecorded, though there is little difference to the song itself with no lyrical changes at all. His fourth album, The Door, was released in 2000. The same year, Keb' Mo' released Big Wide Grin, a children's album featuring many songs from Moore's own childhood, along with some newer children's songs and some by Moore himself. In 2003, Martin Scorsese collaborated with many blues musicians including Keb' Mo' to put together a series of films entitled The Blues. Following its release, several albums were released in accordance, some were compilations, some new collaborations, and Keb' Mo' released an album in the series featuring a handful of existing recordings from Keb' Mo' to The Door. On February 10, 2004, he released Keep It Simple which earned him a third Grammy Award, again in the contemporary blues genre. Later that year he released his sixth studio album, Peace... Back by Popular Demand. Moore released Suitcase, on June 13, 2006. His touring band following the release included Reggie McBride on bass, Les Falconer III on drums, Jeff Paris on keyboards, and Clayton Gibb on guitar. On October 20, 2009, Keb' Mo' released the live album, Live & Mo'. In 1998 he portrayed Robert Johnson in a documentary film, Can't You Hear the Wind Howl?. In 1997 Keb' Mo' portrayed the character Isaac, the Angel of Music, in the episode "Inherit the Wind" and again in 1999 in "Then Sings My Soul" of the television series Touched By an Angel. He performed "Hand It Over" from his 1996 release Just Like You in the 1997 episode and again in the 2002 episode "Remembering Me: Part 2". He also appeared as J. D. Winslow in the 2001 episode "Shallow Water" where he performed his song "God Trying to Get Your Attention" from his album, Slow Down. In 2006, he appeared on the final episode, "Tomorrow" of The West Wing to perform "America the Beautiful" at the inauguration of President Matt Santos. In January 2007, he performed at the Sundance Film Festival. He played the role of the mischievous spirit Possum in the 2007 John Sayles movie Honeydripper. In 2004 he participated in the politically-motivated Vote for Change tour alongside Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, with whom he originally recorded the title track from the album Just Like You. Keb' Mo' is part of the No Nukes group which was against the expansion of nuclear power. In 2007 the group recorded a music video of a new version of the Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth". Keb' Mo' uses several types of guitars, including electric guitars, acoustic guitars and resonator guitars. He has a preference for red guitars, as he says on his website : "I have a history with red guitars. My first electric was a red guitar.". He mostly plays on a red custom Fender Stratocaster which has the particularity to feature two single-coil pickups, and one humbucker and was much modified from a regular Stratocaster model. On stage, he prefers a Red Hamer guitar with Gibson P-90 pickups. Two of his electric guitars were lost in the 2010 Nashville flood : an Epiphone Sheraton and a Danelectro Selectomatic. He owns a variety of acoustic and resonator guitars, including a Gibson artist model, a guitar made for him by James Goodall, a National Style N, a National Resorocket, a Gibson ES-335-shaped resonator guitar with a P-90 pickup he bought in a Nashville club and got fixed. In 2002, Moore contributed "Sonnet 35" to the compilation album, When Love Speaks (EMI Classics), which features famous actors and musicians interpreting Shakespearean sonnets and play excerpts. Two years later, he appeared on Amy Grant: Greatest Hits 1986-2004 in a duet entitled "Come Be with Me", which became a modest success on pop radio. In 2005 he appeared on Buddy Guy's version of "Ain't No Sunshine", along with Tracy Chapman. Moore composed one of the theme songs featured on the show, Martha Stewart Living. That same year, he appeared on Eric Clapton's album Back Home. In 2006, he co-wrote the song, "I Hope", with the Dixie Chicks for their album, Taking the Long Way. Moore also provided vocals to Marcus Miller's 2007 album, Free on the track entitled "Milky Way" and again on Miller's 2008 album entitled, Marcus. Moore appeared on the June 7, 2008 broadcast of Garrison Keillor's radio program A Prairie Home Companion. He performed two songs with Bonnie Raitt: "No Getting Over You" and "There Ain't Nothin' in Ramblin'". The show was archived on the A Prairie Home Companion website. Moore covered Lowen & Navarro's "If You Loved Me Like That" on Keep The Light Alive: Celebrating The Music of Lowen & Navarro. The proceeds of the album benefited The Eric Lowen Trust, ALS Association Greater Los Angeles, and Augie's Quest. Moore sings the opening theme ("I See Love", written by Moore and Josh Kelley) to the CBS television show "Mike and Molly".