Music Notes: Blues-infused Opening

by Editorial

Deep-rooted blues master Keb’ Mo’ brings soulful, storied songs to Strathmore’s season opening
By Kate Faherty

Keb' Mo' will open Strathmore Music Center's 2011-2012 season on September 15.

Keb’ Mo’ is a multiple-Grammy winner, but his achievements are overshadowed – by his ability to bring his audience members to their feet and thirsting for more. The bluesman singer-songwriter and his band will be visiting Bethesda on September 15 to open Strathmore’s 2011-2012 season.

Making his debut at Strathmore, Keb’ Mo’ will be performing songs from his recently released album “The Reflection,” which has been three years in the making. His timeless sounds cover a broad range of musical genres, including pop, rock, folk and jazz. Keb’ Mo’’s three Grammys in the category have appropriately deemed him the master of Contemporary Blues.

Keb’ Mo’’s blues-enriched soul goes much deeper than his talent; It comes from his roots. The performer traces his family tree back to the original Delta bluesmen that brought passionate blues music to life, originating in the Mississippi Delta in the early 20th century. The performer’s strength as a blues artist, rather than a contemporary artist, has grown even stronger throughout the creating of his latest album, as it was produced simultaneously as he moved from Los Angeles ­– his city of origin – to the blues-infused city of Nashville.

The combination of his ability to sing emotional, passionate and true blues songs while still interacting with the audience on an intense personal level makes Keb’ Mo’ recognizable as a true performer and entertainer. His songs stretch beyond the typical musical parameters, as each song tells a story that Keb’ Mo’ is excited to share with his audience. Some songs may feature the award-winning artist as a solo performer, with only his guitar as accompaniment. Additionally amplifying his performing abilities is his band containing star performers and their instruments that range from a mandolin and a harmonica to drums and a bass.

In staying true to his roots and his soulful style, Keb’ Mo’ calls “The Reflection” an “Americana album if it’s anything. But soul and blues are just as much part of ‘Americana’ as anything else – and that’s the ‘Americana’ of which I’m a part.”

As part of Strathmore’s Celebrating American Composers series, Keb’ Mo’’s passionate performance will open Strathmore’s season with energy and vigor. For additional information on the event or the venue, visit

Strathmore Music Center. Photo Ron Solomon.

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