If a promotion agency sends you a new album by a five time Grammy award winner, you know that this will likely be one of your better times as a music blogger. That’s exactly what applies to Keb’ Mo’, who is releasing Good To Be… on 21st January 2022. With two of his three last studio album making it to that list of award winners, the album definitely felt like a promising review. Here are my thoughts.
Keb’ Mo’ – About The Artist
Keb’ Mo’s civil name is Kevin Roosevelt Moore. He was born on 3rd October 1951 in South Los Angeles and nowadays lives in Nashville. His musical career started as a steel drum player in a calypso band, but his favor for the blues got stronger during the 1970’s and 1980’s, when he was part of multiple bands and collaborations. He released a debut album in 1980 as Kevin Moore, but the artist name and the major career as Keb’ Mo’ started significantly later, in 1994, with the album named Keb’ Mo’. Already his second Keb’ Mo’ album, Just Like You (1996) won the Grammy for the Best Contemporary Blues album. From then on, he was a big name in the delta blues and country blues scene – and it would be much shorter to only list his studio albums, which did not at least lead to a Grammy nomination. His last release was the 2019 Moonlight, Mistletoe & You, which did not bring him to the Grammys, but to the top of the US Blues Album Charts. Good To Be… is is sixteenth studio album.
Keb’ Mo’ – Good To Be… – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 48 minutes.
1. Good to Be (Home Again)
The opener is a lovely blend of blues vibe and country music style melodies. A very good and easy listen, which would likely run as “pop song” in Germany. Cool track. Good rhythm as well. Nice title track – and we already know what is Good To Be… in the album title.
2. So Easy
So Easy is rather mixing blues sounds with some brass and R&B styles. A lovely groove, good organ chords in the background
3. Sunny and Warm
The third track is indeed Sunny and Warm. Not just the title itself, but the song comes with a nice summer touch – and the lyrics and fitting to that spirit as well. Good listen – and a nice selection for a single release.
Sunny and warm is the way I like it
Baby you’ve got me so excited
Sunny and warm is the way I like it
When I’m fallin’ in love
It ain’t no crush, it’s forever
When the summer is gone we’ll still be together
4. Good Strong Woman (feat. Darius Rucker)
There are some really cool collaborations on Good to Be … – but, of course, a duet with Darius Rucker is a very special one to me. The song is a bit of blues, a bit of country and some parts with the organ and backing vocals even remind me of a gospel choir. Very good song, which stays in your mind. One of my favorites.
5. Medicine Man (feat. Old Crow Medicine Show)
Old Crow Medicine Show are another really interesting musical support for Keb’ Mo’s 2022 album. Medicine Man has a very different style compared to its predecessor. There is quite a lot of bluegrass spirit in the song – but still, the song cannot deny its blues roots. Very different style, but good.
6. Marvelous to Me
The sixth song is lovely track, which starts as a ballad, but gains more energy after some 90 seconds. But overall, it is a song to touch your emotions – and to enjoy a nice guitar solo in the middle of the track.
But when I look back, I just laugh
And all my troubles just melt into the sea
My vision is clear, in the aftermath
And the future, looks marvelous to me
7. Lean on Me
Another single release is Keb’ Mo’s version of the good old Bill Withers classic. It almost feels needless to say that the five time Grammy Award winner does that cover in excellent style. Maybe a bit too close to the original, could have more of an individual touch.
8. Like Love
Like Love is one of these songs you might tend to forget if you think about the album some weeks after its release. It is a bit of hidden and unremarkable, but not a bad song at all.
9. Dressed Up in Blue
If you love traditional blues vibes, Dressed Up in Blue might be quite on the top of your list of favorites. Great vibes, virtous sound and good work in parallel on the guitar as well.
10. ’62 Chevy
The tenth song is a bit of easier touch. The chorus makes you feel to sing with the music. Could be a fun one at a future concert.
Louder is a cool track, which rather feels like a country song with a touch of rock than like an actual blues song. The piano is driving the melody in here and reminds me of some songs by Lionel Richie. Nice lyrics as well.
It’s gonna get louder
It’s gonna get crazy
It’s pickin’ up power
Pickin’ up steam
Got a new generation
Stronger than steel
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real
12. So Good to Me
Nobody knows me better
Anticipates my every move
I ain’t goin’ nowhere and she knows it, she knows it
She keeps on putting her faith in me
And I don’t know why
She’s so good to me, she’s outta sight
She’s just so good to me, I must’ve done something right
And now I see, that there’s so much more to life
She’s just so good to me, I must’ve done something, I must’ve done something right
Okay, that’s a lovely musical love letter. The song also has a nice instrumental work on the guitar and has a lovely vibe. Thus, it is definitely one of my favorites of the album.
13. Quiet Moments (feat. Kristin Chenoweth)
Kristin Chenoweth is a very interesting guest artist. She is a classic soprano, but also working as an actress. The final song of the album is a beautiful and soulful piano-driven goodbye. Good one.
Keb’ Mo’ – Good To Be… – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Keb’ Mo’ – Good To Be… – My View
Good To Be… is a lovely musical trip through different Americana genres. Keb’ Mo’ touches so many different styles, there is a song for anyone. And his songs are masterful. Thus, a high rating just feels to be guaranteed.
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