Singer-Songwriter and guitarist Keb’ Mo’s music is a living link to the seminal Delta blues that traveled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America–informing all of its musical roots–before evolving into a universally celebrated art form. Born Kevin Moore in South Los Angeles to parents originally from the deep South, he adopted his better known stage name when he was a young player who became inspired by the force of this essential African-American legacy. In the storied tradition of bluesmen before him including Muddy Waters–formerly McKinley Morganfield–and Taj Mahal, who began his days as Henry St. Clair Fredericks, Moore became known as Keb’ Mo’. His acclaimed self-titled 1994 debut album introduced that now famous appellation to the world, and his latest album, 2006’s Suitcase, brings it to new heights.
Mo’s music is also a purely post-modern expression of the artistic and cultural journey that has transformed the blues, and his own point of view, over time. His distinctive sound embraces multiple eras and genres, including pop, rock, folk and jazz, in which he is well versed. In total, it owes as much to contemporary music’s singer-songwriter movement, encompassing his longtime friends and collaborators Bonnie Rait and Jackson Browne, as to the spirit of blues godfather Robert Johnson that dwells in his work. For Keb’ Mo’, the common bond between these influences is the underlying storytelling ethic, the power of song to convey human experience and emotional weight.
Keb’ Mo’ recently release a brand new album, BLUES americana! We are very grateful he has chosen to donate part of the proceeds to the Playing For Change Foundation to support music education worldwide.
How we met:
“Keb’ Mo’ has been a friend and mentor of mine since 2000. He once told me that the important thing is to get up in the morning and let the inspiration take care of itself. As Playing for Change has continued to evolve over time it has always had the wisdom and love that Keb’ Mo’ evokes at the center of its heart and purpose. He is truly someone who makes you want to be a ‘Better Man.'” – Mark Johnson