Kevin Moore, best known as Keb’ Mo’, is a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter who’s been singing the blues and making critically acclaimed albums since 1994.
Twenty years later, his unique guitar styles and distinctive voice have earned him fans all over the world. Philadelphia fans can catch his performance at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside on April 5 at 8 p.m.
“It was a thrill to win the Grammys,” Keb’ Mo’ said. “But the biggest thrill for me, and that’s not to compromise the awards in any way, is to perform in front of a live audience who buys tickets because they really want to see me perform. People show up, no matter what the weather, and make a sincere effort to be there just to hear me play. In my book, that’s really amazing.”
Currently living just outside Nashville, Keb’ Mo’, 63, has been described as a “living link to the seminal Delta blues that traveled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America.”
And why the blues?
“Because it’s real life,” he answered. “Some people think of it as sad music but the blues are real. And I think my music is easy to digest. I’m not hardcore and I don’t play loud guitar. I try to write music that people can relate to and put it in a way that is not heavy-handed.”
In his early years, Keb’ Mo’ worked as a staff writer for A&M Records before striking out on his own.
“You know, it was easier to write for myself because it’s too hard to try to please everyone else. There was too much pressure on me trying to figure out what other people wanted, and, just for the record, I wasn’t very successful at it,” he laughed.
In ‘94, he released his self-titled album that featured two Robert Johnson covers, a man, Keb’ Mo’ said, who greatly influenced him. He even got to play Johnson in a film years ago titled Can You Hear The Wind Howl.
“That was a magical experience for me. It was a very low-budget movie where my dressing room was in a car and some of the wardrobe was my own stuff. But there was a lot of passion in that movie, a lot of energy, all of which went a long way.”
Over the years, Keb’ Mo’ has appeared in other films but doesn’t particularly like doing them.
“It makes me nervous. I feel like a fish out of water. I think all the waiting around is what bothers me the most. When I do my music, I can control it. I know if I start performing at 8, I’ll be done by 11, and that’s it.”
His last album, Reflection, was released in 2011, and his latest one, Blues Americana, is due out April 22. He said it’s not uncommon for him to sometimes go several years without recording a new album.
“I like to take my time between releases,” he explained. “It takes a lot of time for me to get it right, and although it’s never perfect, I strive for that. I also like spending a lot of time in front of an audience, so I’m never in a big hurry. I don’t want to miss out on life.” ••
For ticket information, call 215-572-7650.