Personnel: Keb' Mo' (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo); Tommy Eyre (keyboards); James "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass); Laval Belle, Quentin Dennard, (drums); Tony Draunagel (percussion).
Recorded at Red Zone Studios, Burbank, California and Devonshire Recording Studios, North Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Keb' Mo' (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica); Tommy Eyre (keyboards); Quentin Dennard, Laval Belle (drums).
Audio Mixer: Joe McGrath.
Recording information: Red Zone Studios, Burbank, CA.
The first solo release by contemporary blues-based artist Keb Mo' mixes a reverence for traditional country blues with more streamlined elements of commercial pop. Despite a convincing "down-home" approach of gravel-textured vocals and superior slide work and finger-picking skills, Keb Mo' avoids the pose of a hard line revivalist. Instead, he chooses to employ his fluency in the Delta tradition as a palette on which to blend a connoisseur's sampling of various musical genres. Country, funk, swing, and late 20th-Century folk balladry (Traci Chapman, James Taylor and Bob Dylan) all manage to make their way into the mix for a seamless blend of roots and radio friendliness.
Keyboards, bass and drums (in addition to Keb Mo's contributions on guitar, harmonica and banjo) flesh out breezy soul-inflected pop such as "She Just Wants To Dance" and the island flavored "Tell Everybody I Know." Though gears continue to shift, from organ-drenched gospel to hillbilly lite, Keb Mo' brings things back to the source with inventive homages to the blues altar, such as in his re-casting of two Robert Johnson songs. Though blues purists may find Mo's genre blending somewhat disconcerting, others will find much to appreciate in this accessible, enjoyable, finely honed music.
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.65) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (12/15/94, p.98) - 3.5 Stars - Good - "...it all sounds seamless..."
Q (2/96, p.65) - Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995.
Q (6/95, p.126) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Like Mississippi John Hurt or Taj Mahal, Moore is rooted in songs rather than licks, although his guitar/banjo technique is sharp, hard and irresistibly sparkly....it's precisely because Moore pushes so hard that he's so compelling."
Living Blues (9-10/94, p.66) - "...a fresh take on some of the oldest blues styles..."
NME (Magazine) (7/15/95, p.49) - 6 (out of 10) - "...fine versions of two [Robert] Johnson songs plus some experiments with ragtime and pop music, circa 1920. But he's got a modern nous..., some funk plus a husky, keening voice that will endear him to the Jools Holland set..."