I enjoy all of Kevin Moore aka Keb' Mo's CDs EXCEPT Big Wide Grin, which was a big wide steaming pile of crap.
The next in line, Just Like You, is a little more pop-ish, but excellent. Slow Down is outstanding. They're must haves IMHO.
The Door is very good, but a bit of a departure in areas, still some excellent work on it, including a pretty good cover of "It hurts me too".
Like I said, don't think there's even one good song on Big Wide Grin. I don't have the brand new album yet but it's on order.
Watered down blues at best.
I have to agree that all his albums are good except Big Wide Grin. I saw him in concert at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City a couple of years ago. Great concert; he interects with the audience a lot. Said that his influences were Elvis, Buddy Holly and Taj Mahal.
Buy anything except Big Wide Grin. Slow Down and Just Like you are very well produced and wonderful songs. I often use parts of Just Like You to audition gear (listen for Kevin to drop his pick while cookin'...).
Go and see him any chance you have. Nothing can capture his live performance.
You will probably also enjoy his live DVD Sessions at West 54th.
What more can be said? The guys above got it pegged, except Easy e. I don't agree with him.
I fully agree with all the above assessments....all great albums except "Big Wide Grin", which was coined as an album for the kiddies.
I have his new one on order, but listening to the clips, it sounds like he's back to true form.
Saw him in Ravinia (Illinois) a few years ago, and have tix to see him at the House of Blues in March. Awesome show, must see!
I think Keb Mo fills in a real gap -- that of "adult contemporary" that isn't cheesy pop. Sorta like Norah Jones. Keb Mo is best when he's playing that slide guitar solo. he's killer live as others have said. Agreed, Big Wide Grin was the cheesy family album. His new album is good and does get closer to his roots. He's also very positive, and some of his songs can have a "you can do it" kind of touchy feely feeling, but they're still good.
sacd "the door" sounds incredible
I have four Keb-Mo CD's and like them all. I don't own big wide grin for some reason. I must have read a poor review or something. Glad to here he has a new cd on the way. I use to own the DVD but couldn't get rid of the sub-titles so I took it back to the store for a refund.
Try Ben Harpers first cd too it's right up your alley
I also like Keb quite a bit. I am also from Chicago,and his blues are not the same as Muddy Waters. Still like him though.
I would be careful - I only like that first one, and find the rest to be too MOR in style. I don't mean to dis the opinions here, just to point out that the first one has more 'edge' than his others, and for me that makes a difference.
I agree with Redkiwi. His first album was arguably in the blues vein and was underproduced in the classic "man and guitar" style. Keb and his guitar stood out. I'm not certain that "edge" is the word. I'd say that it was more in the blues camp and underproduced if compared to most pop stuff. From there he moved into something else. Maybe what Budrew above calls adult contemporary. When he first came out there was a little talk that he might be part of a renewed blues movement (Corrie Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, etc) and you never heard any of that talk after his second album.
Easy..e is, IMHO, right too in that Keb is no longer in the blues area at all. You might still enjoy him but it is just watered down blues at best if that is what you are looking for based on his first album. But I can't say I blame him. Blues is not a big seller. He probably did no want to die broke in the usual, and not so grand, tradition of great blues singers. You can almost hear him trying to reach a broader audience after his first album and you really can't blame him.
He slept on my nephews couch in Colorado when he was in that neck of the woods when he was a nobody. Had a chance to meet him a couple times. He is a nice guy and no slouch on the guitar.
You might enjoy his later stuff but it is not the same style as his first album. I enjoyed his first album, his second less so, and was completely disappointed in everything else. Just my opinion.
I completely agree with Clueless. The first album is exceptional. After that, it starts going down hill pretty quickly. Unless, of course, you're really into that "adult contemporary" style.
The sparse instrumentation really lends well to showcasing his voice and phenomenal guitar work.
No matter what you think about the later albums, you absolutely MUST NOT buy Big Wide Grin. It's like catching your parents having sex. You don't even want to think about it, let alone see it...And it may change your view of him forever. It's THAT bad!
(Come to think of it, I don't think I've listened to Keb' Mo since then...seriously.)
Thanks for the information, gang. If you compare Keb' Mo' with blues singers like Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, or Muddy Watters, I have no problem with either calling Mr. Moore's blues, "watered down" or admitting that I still find enjoyment in it. And, I am basing that on hearing only his first album -- and the concensus seems to be that this is, as I feared, his most authentic, rootsy, or edgy. I have music in my collection for all different occasions and moods and there is a place within that collection for artists like Norah Jones and Keb' Mo', although
I wonder how much "water" can be added to Mr. Moore's music before I
will rebel. I was hoping to hear that his other albums followed artistic lines similar to his first. So, given this input, I am going to tread carefully. Based on the input I have received here -- and based on my search for SACD's -- I have ordered another Keb' Mo' album. I have chosen BIG WIDE GRIN. Just kidding. I have chosen JUST LIKE YOU on SACD. After it arrives, I will follow up and give my impressions.
Thanks to all for your input!