Grammy Award-winning Keb’ Mo’ heads to IC this weekend

Keb' Mo' comes to IC
Keb’ Mo says he prefers red guitars — a sentiment dating back to his very first electric. — photo by Mike Fisher

Keb’ Mo’

Englert Theatre – Sunday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

As with many prominent blues artists, Kevin Moore (known predominantly by his stage name, Keb’ Mo’) picked up the guitar at an early age and turned the hobby into a lifelong career. With a career spanning decades, Moore has since built a reputation as one of the best performers and songwriters in the contemporary blues genre.

Now touring in support of his 2011 release, The Reflection, Keb’ Mo’ is set to bring his entertaining style of the blues to Iowa City for a performance at the Englert Theatre this Sunday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

Moore began his career by landing several recording gigs as a backing musician in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s before branching out with the release his self-titled debut Keb’ Mo’ in 1994. The LP featured two covers of Robert Johnson songs, one of Moore’s primary influences, who he would later portray in the 1998 documentary Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl?

Two years after his debut, Moore released a highly successful follow-up, Just Like You, which won Best Contemporary Blues album at the 1997 Grammy Awards. The following year, Moore collected his second Grammy for the album Slow Down, followed by a third Grammy in 2004 for the album Keep it Simple — again winning Best Contemporary Blues album.

Moore has always been known for his versatility as a musician and performer, with releases ranging from straightforward electric blues to stripped down acoustic records featuring his customary slide guitar playing.

The artist has referred to this latest album as a testament to the extreme period of change he underwent in the five years since his prior release. Having started a family and moved from Los Angeles to Nashville to start his own record company, it seems Moore has found a bit of self-satisfaction with his newfound freedom to blend musical genres as he pleases. Offering much more than your standard blues artist, Moore’s show on Sunday night promises to include elements of R&B and folk, all with a modern flare which showcases his truly unmatched talent.

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