Title - 'Live - That Hot Pink Blues Album'
Artist - Keb' Mo'
For those not in the know about this uber talented artist, Kevin Roosevelt Moore, known worldwide as simply Keb' Mo', is a three-time American Grammy Award-winning blues musician. He is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee.
Having once been described as "a living link to the seminal Delta blues that traveled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America" his brand of post-modern blues style is influenced by many eras and genres, including folk, rock, jazz and pop. Indeed, the moniker "Keb Mo" was coined by his original drummer, Quentin Dennard, and picked up by his record label as a "street talk" abbreviation of his given name.
It all took off for Keb’ Mo’ in 1994 with the self-titled release under his newly coined “Keb’ Mo’” moniker, and he proved once and for all that he was a musical force to be reckoned with. Album after album, 11 in total, garnered him 3 Grammy awards and a producer/engineer/artist Grammy Certificate for his track on the 2001 Country Album of the Year, Hank Williams Tribute – Timeless.
He has received 8 additional Grammy nominations including Country Song of the Year for “I Hope,” co-written with The Dixie Chicks, and 3 alone for his 2014 release, BLUESAmericana including Americana Album of the Year. Keb’ also has been awarded 11 Blues Foundation Awards and 6 BMI Awards, 5 of which are from his theme song for the hit television show, Mike and Molly.
And now the Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’, has just released his brand new album, Keb’ Mo’ Live – That Hot Pink Blues Album this past April 15th via Kind of Blue Music/RED Distribution.
Funnily enough, this new live album wasn't even planned to be such, for it actually began as almost an afterthought. It was Keb' Mo's very own front of house engineer who decided to hit “record” at the beginning of each show. Thus, it morphed into a noteworthy, carefully culled historical document highlighting Keb’ and his band during their 2015 run. Chock full of musical greatness, amongst these 16 tracks spread over two delicious vinyl LPs there are overtones of soul, jazz, funk, blues and even country swing to be admired.
So not being a so-called "bluesman means that he reaches a wider audience and does so effortlessly, of that I cannot lie. The 16 tracks captured are from nine different cities, and with Keb’ being backed by keyboardist Michael B. Hicks, bassist Stan Sargeant and drummer Casey Wasner on each and every stop, the combined musical interludes are simply stunning to behold. Indeed, it is also the latter, Wasner, who produced the record and received a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album – Non-Classical for Blues Americana.
1. Tell Everybody I Know – (Charleston, SC)
2. Somebody Hurt You – (Calabogie, Ontario)
3. Henry – (Kent, OH)
4. Life Is Beautiful – (Nashville, TN)
5. She Just Wants To Dance – (West Hampton, NY)
6. The Worst Is Yet To Come – (Denver, CO
7. Government Cheese – (Wheeling, WV)
8. The Door (Saratoga, CA)
9. Come On Back – (Nashville, TN)
10. France – (Charleston, SC)
11. More Than One Way Home (Nashville, TN)
12. A Better Man (Charleston, SC)
13. The Old Me Better (Saratoga, CA)
14. Rita (Charleston, SC)
15. Dangerous Mood (Sturgis, SD)
16. City Boy (Saratoga, CA)
Listening to the tracks, lovingly turning the vinyl LPs over each time a side had come to its end (I'm a true blue audiophile, can you tell!), being a fan of Keb' means that you instantly realize that several of the tracks are off his most recent album, the aforementioned Blues Americana. Which is great, for sure, but I also love his older stuff, personally. Beginning the evening with the brilliant funky vibe of 'Tell Everybody I Know' ("In the evening in my bed, I hear voices in my head"), and backs that up with the mid-tempo 'Somebody Hurt You', the ballad 'Henry', and the gentle hipsway storytelling of 'Life Is Beautiful'.
Throughout Keb’ Mo’ Live – That Hot Pink Blues Album, it's his distinctive guitar versatility and rich, resonant, blues-soaked vocals that swarm your senses with each and every song played. The recording itself is crisp, resolutely crystal clear, and a testament to all concerned with bringing it to us, his fans, in such a way. Tracks such as the upbeat 'She Just Wants to Dance', the mid-80's easy vibe of 'The Door', the finger-snapping 'More Than One Way Home', and both the (perhaps) autobiographical 'The Old Me Better' and album ending ballad 'City Boy' all tell a story; and every story reminds listeners of why Keb’ Mo’ is one of the most multi-talented and engaging musical troubadours on today’s roots rock and blues scene.