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Blues - Verschenen op 31 mei 1996 | Okeh - Epic

Onderscheidingen Uitzonderlijke Geluidsopnamen
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Blues - Verschenen op 22 mei 1994 | Okeh - Epic

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Blues - Verschenen op 14 juni 2019 | Concord Records

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Keb' Mo' named his 2019 album Oklahoma after the home state of Dara Tucker, the songwriter who co-wrote the title song with the veteran blues troubadour. Until that collaboration, Keb' Mo' planned to make an acoustic album, but "Oklahoma" opened the door to an expansive record that finds space for plenty of cameos (Rosanne Cash, Robert Randolph, and Taj Mahal all make appearances), not to mention understated protest. While the bluesman doesn't disguise his political songs -- the messages of "Put a Woman in Charge" and "Don't Throw It Away" are plain in their titles -- he does wrap them in the same cozy groove that characterizes the rest of the record. This isn't sugarcoating a poison pill so much as it is reflecting the easy, soulful gait Keb' Mo' has at this stage of his career. Keb' Mo' may not move quickly, yet he moves confidently, inhabiting the heartbreak of "This Is My Home" as thoroughly as he does the back-porch stomp of "Ridin' on a Train." While "Ridin' on a Train" isn't the only cut that wears its blues roots proudly -- "I Should've" is a wry catalog of regrets -- much of Oklahoma feels smooth and soulful, a sound that suits Keb' Mo' quite well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Verschenen op 17 januari 2017 | Epic - 550 Music - Okeh

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Blues - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2005 | Epic - One Haven - Red Ink

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Blues - Verschenen op 25 augustus 1998 | Okeh - 550 Music

At the beginning of his career, Keb' Mo' appeared to be a clever update of the acoustic bluesman, one that managed to recall country-blues but offer a contemporary spin on tradition -- sort of like a '90s version of Taj Mahal. With each new album, however, it became clear that authenticity was not a concept that troubled Keb' Mo'. He was more concerned with offering a nice, smooth bluesy pop that was perfect for the House of Blues, not for seedy roadhouse. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- it's just the kind of thing that would irritate blues purists who may have placed hope in him in the first place. Slow Down, Mo's third album, will nevertheless be the kind of album that will please listeners who like laid-back, polished blues, not gritty Chicago or Delta blues. Approaching Slow Down with this knowledge is helpful, since it isn't a bad album -- it's well-constructed and professionally performed, emphasizing Keb' Mo's ability to craft good, slick blues-rock. If you like that sound -- the sound of post-Robert Cray blues, with no trace of Stevie Ray Vaughan pyrotechnics -- Slow Down may be just your pace. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Verschenen op 5 september 2003 | Epic - Legacy

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Ambient / New Age / Easy Listening - Verschenen op 18 oktober 2019 | Concord Records

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The inherent friendliness of Moonlight, Mistletoe and You buoys the first holiday album from veteran blues singer Keb' Mo' through its periodic shifts in tone and style. Keb' Mo' has long been known for dabbling in a variety of different American roots music, so the intermingling of blues, jazz, and Tin Pan Alley pop comes as no surprise. His easy touch ties together these shifts in sound, but his warmth can sometimes be suppressed by the crisp, clean production that veers just a little bit too close to antiseptic on occasion. Despite the digital gloss of "Merry Merry Christmas" and the bouncy "Better Everyday," Moonlight, Mistletoe and You still winds up as a cozy listen, all due to Keb' Mo''s emphasis on sweetness and good humor. The entire album is a celebration -- when he's lamenting the holiday on "Christmas Is Annoying," his tongue is firmly in cheek -- and that's what makes it an appealing soundtrack for the season. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Verschenen op 22 april 2014 | Kind Of Blue Music

The title is a tip-off that after the soul excursion of The Reflection, Keb' Mo' is getting back to the blues, but also that he's concerned with not limiting himself to just that genre. It's clear Keb' Mo' has a broad view of the blues, seeing it as the backbone of American music, a generous definition he makes plain on BLUESAmericana. As the record rolls through its ten tracks, it amiably drifts across the country, touching upon the careening New Orleans stomp of "Old Me Better" as well as the soulful thrum of Memphis on "For Better or Worse." Keb' Mo' takes plenty of stops along the way, favoring a bit of Chicago grind and low-key Texas shuffles, but usually he pours it all into a relaxed, friendly groove that leaves plenty of space for his warm, cheerful vocals. Such an emphasis on feel means that beneath its sly anthropology, BLUESAmericana is essentially mood music, a soundtrack for good times on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and if that seems like slight praise, it also means that the album ultimately proves Keb' Mo''s point; blues can be heard in every thread of the musical fabric of America. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Verschenen op 10 februari 2004 | Epic - Okeh

Keb' Mo' is less a blues singer than a performer who works from that conceptual base, not in the way Taj Mahal does, knowingly carrying a tradition forward, half teacher and wise elder, but more as a populist, the James Taylor of blues, say, or a less recalcitrant J.J. Cale. To criticize him for not being Skip James or Robert Johnson sort of misses the point of what Keb' Mo' is shooting for, and like Bonnie Raitt discovered, bringing a modern pop-blues to a wide audience sure beats playing authentic for purists. Either path is as fake or as real as the other in a post-postmodern age where the blues creaks along as a single DNA strand in a world of rap, metal, and neo-soul. All of which makes the blues a strange career path to use to get straight out of Compton, yet that's exactly what Keb' Mo' has done, rising out of one of toughest urban landscapes in the world by covering Robert Johnson songs on his National steel guitar. So enough about whether he's a real bluesman or not, because in the end he has to put supper on the table, and he does it by crafting a warm, wry, blues-informed version of pop Americana that wrestles with contemporary problems like how to pay the mortgage, the high price of coffee, or how to afford a vacation in France. "France," the lead track on Keep It Simple, pretty much states the case with the lines "Wake up Mama/Don't you fret/I found two cheap tickets/On the Internet," which Keb' Mo' sings in a honey-tinged voice over a patented and tasteful blues shuffle. Later, in "House in California," he sings, "Better have good money/If you're looking for a house/In California," and again, he uses a shuffle to hang the news on, looking no further into the past than necessary to put the song across. Keb' Mo' is a solid guitar player, and is a master of the easy, nuanced vocal, and he makes like Denzel Washington on this album, commenting on the little problems and travails of contemporary life with a winning grin and an assured stance that you can't help but like. Is this a great album? No, just a good one, all of a piece with his earlier work, and his debut release, simply called Keb' Mo', is still probably your best bet for a first purchase. That's the album the critics like best because it stays closest to the Delta definition of the blues, and it is a good album, but Keb' Mo' didn't trade Compton for the Delta just to stay there. He's looking for a house in California and a plane ticket to France. Aren't we all? That's the blues, folks. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Divers - Verschenen op 12 februari 1998 | Sony Wonder

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Blues - Verschenen op 14 juni 2019 | Concord Records

Keb' Mo' named his 2019 album Oklahoma after the home state of Dara Tucker, the songwriter who co-wrote the title song with the veteran blues troubadour. Until that collaboration, Keb' Mo' planned to make an acoustic album, but "Oklahoma" opened the door to an expansive record that finds space for plenty of cameos (Rosanne Cash, Robert Randolph, and Taj Mahal all make appearances), not to mention understated protest. While the bluesman doesn't disguise his political songs -- the messages of "Put a Woman in Charge" and "Don't Throw It Away" are plain in their titles -- he does wrap them in the same cozy groove that characterizes the rest of the record. This isn't sugarcoating a poison pill so much as it is reflecting the easy, soulful gait Keb' Mo' has at this stage of his career. Keb' Mo' may not move quickly, yet he moves confidently, inhabiting the heartbreak of "This Is My Home" as thoroughly as he does the back-porch stomp of "Ridin' on a Train." While "Ridin' on a Train" isn't the only cut that wears its blues roots proudly -- "I Should've" is a wry catalog of regrets -- much of Oklahoma feels smooth and soulful, a sound that suits Keb' Mo' quite well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Verschenen op 21 september 2004 | Okeh - Epic

Peace...Back by Popular Demand finds Keb' Mo' covering nine classic protest and peace songs from the 1960s and early '70s, and what is immediately apparent is how well these songs translate forward into the current political milieu. This is an album where the songs themselves are the stars, and Keb' Mo' wisely takes a low-key and measured vocal approach to each of them, letting the messages take hold over light soul-jazz backings, with just enough funk in the horn charts to give the arrangements some push. It's hard to argue with the song selection, but as an interpreter, Mo' seldom makes any of these tracks his own, and behind each stands the ghostly but clear memory of the original version. Perhaps that would be unavoidable under any circumstances, because songs like John Lennon's "Imagine" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" are so perfectly realized in the original recordings, but if the idea here is to give the messages of these songs a new cachet in a new era, then only a couple of them are given a redefinition by Mo' that would allow it. One that does work in a new guise is the opening track, a spunky, light soul rendition of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." The song seems to have gained wisdom and import as the years have passed, and in the hands of Keb' Mo' it becomes both universal and danceable. Less successful is Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding," which is also given a heavy makeover, emerging in a swampy string band version that makes the song feel somehow less urgent. The cover here of Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" works because Mo' stays close to the original template, and given that Gaye pretty much invented the jazzy soul approach on his classic What's Going On album (an album that hardly needs redefinition to be vital in a contemporary setting), this is a wise choice. Delivering a perfectly nuanced vocal on Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free," Mo' brings out the hard-earned wisdom and hope inherent in the song's lyrics, as well as preserving its natural elegance. The simple vocal-and-piano approach to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" strips the song of its defiant swagger, replacing it with a kind of cautious -- but hopeful -- resignation that is surprisingly effective in shining a different kind of light on the lyrics. There is one Keb' Mo' original on the album, "Talk," which takes as its premise a one-on-one talk with the President of the United States, a notion that will seem like science fiction for most listeners. Obviously Mo' isn't trying to top the Hit Parade with anything here, and his effort to bring these important songs into a new light is laudable. Peace...Back by Popular Demand is not a major album, but it does have some major things to say, or re-say, in this case, and it serves as a reminder that every era could use (and deserves) some peace. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Blues - Verschenen op 2 augustus 2011 | Yolabelle International

Booklet
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Soul - Verschenen op 14 oktober 2009 | Yolabelle International - One Haven Music

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Blues - Verschenen op 10 februari 2004 | Epic - Okeh

Keb' Mo' is less a blues singer than a performer who works from that conceptual base, not in the way Taj Mahal does, knowingly carrying a tradition forward, half teacher and wise elder, but more as a populist, the James Taylor of blues, say, or a less recalcitrant J.J. Cale. To criticize him for not being Skip James or Robert Johnson sort of misses the point of what Keb' Mo' is shooting for, and like Bonnie Raitt discovered, bringing a modern pop-blues to a wide audience sure beats playing authentic for purists. Either path is as fake or as real as the other in a post-postmodern age where the blues creaks along as a single DNA strand in a world of rap, metal, and neo-soul. All of which makes the blues a strange career path to use to get straight out of Compton, yet that's exactly what Keb' Mo' has done, rising out of one of toughest urban landscapes in the world by covering Robert Johnson songs on his National steel guitar. So enough about whether he's a real bluesman or not, because in the end he has to put supper on the table, and he does it by crafting a warm, wry, blues-informed version of pop Americana that wrestles with contemporary problems like how to pay the mortgage, the high price of coffee, or how to afford a vacation in France. "France," the lead track on Keep It Simple, pretty much states the case with the lines "Wake up Mama/Don't you fret/I found two cheap tickets/On the Internet," which Keb' Mo' sings in a honey-tinged voice over a patented and tasteful blues shuffle. Later, in "House in California," he sings, "Better have good money/If you're looking for a house/In California," and again, he uses a shuffle to hang the news on, looking no further into the past than necessary to put the song across. Keb' Mo' is a solid guitar player, and is a master of the easy, nuanced vocal, and he makes like Denzel Washington on this album, commenting on the little problems and travails of contemporary life with a winning grin and an assured stance that you can't help but like. Is this a great album? No, just a good one, all of a piece with his earlier work, and his debut release, simply called Keb' Mo', is still probably your best bet for a first purchase. That's the album the critics like best because it stays closest to the Delta definition of the blues, and it is a good album, but Keb' Mo' didn't trade Compton for the Delta just to stay there. He's looking for a house in California and a plane ticket to France. Aren't we all? That's the blues, folks. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Blues - Verschenen op 2 augustus 2011 | Yolabelle International

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Pop - Verschenen op 21 september 2004 | Epic

Peace...Back by Popular Demand finds Keb' Mo' covering nine classic protest and peace songs from the 1960s and early '70s, and what is immediately apparent is how well these songs translate forward into the current political milieu. This is an album where the songs themselves are the stars, and Keb' Mo' wisely takes a low-key and measured vocal approach to each of them, letting the messages take hold over light soul-jazz backings, with just enough funk in the horn charts to give the arrangements some push. It's hard to argue with the song selection, but as an interpreter, Mo' seldom makes any of these tracks his own, and behind each stands the ghostly but clear memory of the original version. Perhaps that would be unavoidable under any circumstances, because songs like John Lennon's "Imagine" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" are so perfectly realized in the original recordings, but if the idea here is to give the messages of these songs a new cachet in a new era, then only a couple of them are given a redefinition by Mo' that would allow it. One that does work in a new guise is the opening track, a spunky, light soul rendition of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." The song seems to have gained wisdom and import as the years have passed, and in the hands of Keb' Mo' it becomes both universal and danceable. Less successful is Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding," which is also given a heavy makeover, emerging in a swampy string band version that makes the song feel somehow less urgent. The cover here of Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" works because Mo' stays close to the original template, and given that Gaye pretty much invented the jazzy soul approach on his classic What's Going On album (an album that hardly needs redefinition to be vital in a contemporary setting), this is a wise choice. Delivering a perfectly nuanced vocal on Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free," Mo' brings out the hard-earned wisdom and hope inherent in the song's lyrics, as well as preserving its natural elegance. The simple vocal-and-piano approach to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" strips the song of its defiant swagger, replacing it with a kind of cautious -- but hopeful -- resignation that is surprisingly effective in shining a different kind of light on the lyrics. There is one Keb' Mo' original on the album, "Talk," which takes as its premise a one-on-one talk with the President of the United States, a notion that will seem like science fiction for most listeners. Obviously Mo' isn't trying to top the Hit Parade with anything here, and his effort to bring these important songs into a new light is laudable. Peace...Back by Popular Demand is not a major album, but it does have some major things to say, or re-say, in this case, and it serves as a reminder that every era could use (and deserves) some peace. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Verschenen op 24 augustus 1998 | Okeh - 550 Music

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Blues - Verschenen op 11 januari 2013 | Epic - Legacy