The most important thing to know about Kevin Moore, or Keb’ Mo’ as his audience knows him, is that above all he is a musical storyteller. BLUES Americana is certainly evidence of his ability to craft entrancing lyrics carried by a fresh melody. Released in April, Keb’ Mo’s newest album is a raw representation of himself, right down to the realization that if he were to be true to himself it would have to be done with an ensemble.
“My first intention was to make a stripped-down acoustic album — just me and my guitar playing some songs. But I couldn’t do it! I love ensembles so much.”
BLUES Americana focuses on a new chapter of Keb’ Mo’s career. Including songs with themes such as commitment, love and devotion, and the search for the silver lining, this album gives the audience a little bit of everything. It showcases a variety of musical styles while still being rooted in the blues.
“I never set out to be a ‘blues guy.’ Why would I put limits on myself? At the same time I get it., blues is very powerful and fuels what I do.It’s a big part of who I am.”
Winning three Grammys, having a close friend like the late B.B. King, fans like Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne, and writing and performing the theme song of a hit TV show, Mike and Molly, hasn’t seemed to change his attitude toward life. He still has his hobbies like taking care of his dog, Rudy, and taking out the recycling.
“My biggest hobby is taking out the recycling. I put the recycling in the minivan and drive down to (the recycling center), sorting it and dumping out. I’m meeting all of the people at the recycling place – ‘Hey Keb! How ya doing there? Don’t you have someone that does that for you?’ Yeah – me!”
Keb’ Mo’ will be at The Grand Friday, September 18 at 7:30 PM. It’s your chance to not only see the three time Grammy winner and incredibly talented musician, but also the storyteller who’s interested in showing the audience who Keb’ Mo’ really is and why the blues is the best way to convey it.
“The blues is something that always comes back,” Mo’ says. “For the big music to survive, they have to sell a lot of records to teenagers. You need pop stars like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry to sell a lot of records and to keep the music industry financially sound. Blues was never mainstream. I don’t think it was ever meant to be mainstream. It was somewhat popular in the ’50s and ’60s, but it’s true significance lies in it being a part of all other popular music. It’s foundational. Turn on the radio and listen to anything Top 40. The blues is in there, just below the surface. The blues is that powerful. It nurtures us in a way that new stuff can’t. It’s always going to have a seat at the table.”