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CD Review
Keb' Mo'
"Keb' Mo'"
Sony Music (Okeh/epic EK-57863) 1994, , tracks, minutes
I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up this CD recently which is the debut album for Keb' Mo'. I found this a very enjoyable listening experience. He sounds like a cross between Mississippi John Hurt, Taj Mahal and Jimmy Reed in both his playing style and voice. Most of the numbers appeared to be played on acoustic guitar with support from drums, bass and keyboards. Keb' Mo' (Kevin Moore) also played the banjo and harp. He is shown with writing or co-writing credits on all except 2 of the 13 tracks, those 2 belong to Robert Johnson (44 minutes total playing time).

There is some very nice slow slide work on the first cut Every Morning. The subdued banjo picking on Tell Everybody I Know adds a perfect touch to a great bouncing number that was one of my favorites on the CD. He's got his Robert Johnson down pat right down to the opening moan on Come On In My Kitchen and a slower version of Kindhearted Woman Blues where he stretches some on the falsetto but nails the picking. The piano and harp add a melancholy touch to the last track City Boy. You wonder if he is a city boy who has been out searching the back roads for Robert Johnson.

If you are looking for the sizzling electric guitar of a Dave Hole you won't find it here, but you will find some refreshing , bouncy, acoustic blues that are well written, and well performed by a singer with a unique vocal style. I'm looking forward to seeing him in person sometime. Anyone know when he might be coming our way?

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Copyright 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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