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’.
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 Raitt and Jackson Browne, as it does 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’ is a three-time Grammy-winner for Contemporary Blues Album, and was nominated for Country Song of the Year for “I Hope,” a co-write with the Dixie Chicks that appears on their album Taking the Long Way. His songs have also been covered by such artists as B.B. King, Wynonna, Joe Cocker, Buddy Guy, Robert Palmer, and Tom Jones!
On camera he has appeared and performed music for several television and motion pictures, including playing himself, singing “America The Beautiful” during the inauguration scene of the moving series finale of the award-winning show The West Wing. He also appeared in John Sayles latest film, Honeydripper, and in Martin Scorcese’s PBS special Feel Like Going Home and concert documentary Lightning in a Bottle.