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Keb' Mo' (born October 3, 1951 in South Central Los Angeles, California as Kevin Moore) is a noted American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. In his own words, the more he got to be called Keb’ Mo’, the more he got interested in the blues. As noted from Moore himself in the Martin Scorsese series "The Blues", Keb' Mo' was greatly influenced by blues legend Robert Johnson.
Keb' Mo' came from a divorced family, which gave him an early appreciation for blues and gospel. "The Blues is my history, my culture," said Keb' Mo' in an interview . His uncle gave him his first guitar. By adolescence he was already an accomplished guitarist. He also played the trumpet and the French horn.
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 Starship violinist Papa John Creach through an R&B group Creach hired when Moore was just 21 years old. Around that time he was also a staff writer for A&M Records, and arranged demos for Almo - Irving music. Keb' Mo's early debut, Rainmaker, came out on Chocolate City Records, a subsidiary of Casablanca Records, in 1980. Keb' Mo' was further immersed in the blues with his long stint in the Whodunit Band, headed by Bobby "Blue" Bland producer Monk Higgins. He 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," which proved his devotion for the legendary and enigmatic Johnson. This album received critical and popular acclaim. 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 very brief guest appearances from Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. On the evening of June 10, 1997, he taped a compilation of his best songs on a TV show called Sessions at West 54th. He joined musicians Laval Belle on drums, Reggie McBride playing bass, and Joellen Friedcken on keyboards to perform fourteen songs, some from each of his albums. Legendary 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 wasn't released as a DVD or video until late 2000, over three years after the performance itself.
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 blues legend Muddy Waters. It also features a song entitled "Rainmaker," previously of his first album from 18 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. In 2000, 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, veteran filmmaker 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 entire album himself 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. His most recent release is Suitcase, dated June 13, 2006. His current touring band consists of Reggie McBride on bass, Les Falconer III on drums, Jeff Paris on keyboards, and Clayton Gibb on guitar.
Official site: www.kebmo.com
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