Keb'Mo' Talks About His New Album 'BLUESAmericana'

Keb'Mo' is a triple threat in the music industry. The blues musician is a singer, songwriter, and guitar player...and has three Grammy’s to show for it. On his latest album 'BLUESAmericana', he continues to mix traditional blues and roots music with a modern approach that touches on R&B and gospel.

Fun facts about Keb'Mo' (Source: Wikipedia)

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. Keb Mo's first gold record was received for a song, "Git Fiddler", which he co-wrote with Papa John on Jefferson Starship's Red Octopus. Red Octopus hit number one on the Billboard 200 in 1975.

Moore was also a staff writer for A&M Records, and arranged demos for Almo - Irving music. Keb' Mo's 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. Keb was the runner-up for Best New Blues Artist at The Long Beach Blues Festival when he was spotted by Steve LaVere who owns the publishing for the entire Robert Johnson song catalogue (1992–93)

Keb Mo's self-titled album was released on Okeh Records a vintage revival division of Sony Music. In 1996, he released Just Like You, his second album, which featured twelve songs full of Delta rhythms. He won his firstGrammy 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.

In 1998, Moore was involved in the multi artist project "Begegnungen (Encounter)" by Germany's Rock-Superstar Peter Maffay. They performed together a new version of Mo's "Am I wrong" on the album and some more songs in the 30 concerts at the arena tour later the same year, documented on the live album "Begenungen Live", released in early 1999. A further guest of Maffay at the Begegnungen album and tour was Sonny Landreth and many more artist from every continent.

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.

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 2001, he appeared on Sesame Street with Kermit the Frog, Grover, Elmo, and other muppets performing the song "Everybody be Yo'self". The album includes an original arrangement of "America the Beautiful," which he performed years later on the 2006 series finale of The West Wing, "Tomorrow," in which he appears as himself to perform the song at the inauguration of (fictional) President Matt Santos.

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' . Keb Mo has appeared on stage(1990-1993) in several versions of the Musical "Spunk" as Guitar Man, a play by Zora Neale Hurston a legendary African American playwright from the Harlem Renaissance. His character, learned while he was an understudy to "Chick Streetman" played all the actual music in the play while performing. The character of Guitarman is the foundation for his current stage persona.

On August 2, 2011, Keb' Mo' released The Reflection.

In 2015 his album, BLUESAmericana, won the 'Contemporary Blues Album' category at the Blues Music Awards.

BLUESAmericana is in stores and available to download now.

Follow Keb'Mo' on Twitter: @kebmomusic

Check out the Keb'Mo' official website.

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