Guitarist/vocalist Keb' Mo' draws heavily on the old-fashioned country-blues style of Robert Johnson while keeping his sound contemporary with touches of soul and folksy storytelling. A skilled frontman as well as an accomplished sideman, he writes much of his own material and has applied his acoustic, electric, and slide guitar skills to jazz- and rock-oriented bands. His 1994 solo debut, Keb' Mo', was a critical and popular success that typified his modern spin on vintage blues, and 2006's Suitcase was another laid-back but committed set rooted in acoustic sounds. 2017's TajMo found Keb' Mo' collaborating with fellow idiosyncratic acoustic blues artist Taj Mahal, and 2019's Oklahoma was a full-bodied effort that included cameos by Mahal, Rosanne Cash, Robert Randolph, and others; both albums earned him Grammy Awards.
Moore cut an R&B-based solo album, Rainmaker, in 1980 for Casablanca, which promptly folded. In 1983, he joined Monk Higgins' band as a guitarist and met a number of blues musicians who collectively increased his understanding of the genre. He subsequently joined a vocal group called the Rose Brothers and gigged around Los Angeles. In 1990, Moore portrayed a Delta bluesman in a local play, Rabbit Foot, and then played Robert Johnson in a docudrama entitled Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? He released his self-titled debut album as Keb' Mo' in 1994, featuring two Robert Johnson covers, 11 songs written or co-written by Moore, and his guitar and banjo work.
In 2017, Keb' Mo' teamed with Taj Mahal to spotlight the good-time side of the blues on TajMo, which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. He returned in June 2019 with Oklahoma, an eclectic and politically conscious set that was released on Concord Records. The album debuted at number two on the national Blues charts, and went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. In October 2019, Keb' Mo' released his first holiday album, Moonlight, Mistletoe, And You. ~ Steve Huey