Search - Keb' Mo' :: Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple
Keb' Mo'
Keep It Simple
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

"I can't even crack a frown since the blues slipped out of town," sings Keb' Mo' on "Prosperity Blues," with a patented big wide grin you can practically hear. It's a witty and accurate assessment of his approach to the of...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Keb' Mo'
Title: Keep It Simple
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 2/10/2004
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Electric Blues, Acoustic Blues, Modern Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 696998640825, 5099751529729, 886973850022

"I can't even crack a frown since the blues slipped out of town," sings Keb' Mo' on "Prosperity Blues," with a patented big wide grin you can practically hear. It's a witty and accurate assessment of his approach to the often lowdown genre. Even on the album's title track, where Mo's tough National steel slide playing is most prominent, he's concerned with the daunting amount of coffee choices at his local java emporium. Call it the middle-class blues then, as Mo' wraps his grits-and-honey voice around another set of gently rolling, melodic, and warm compositions. Similar to, say, James Taylor, he spins beautifully crafted, meticulously produced, uncluttered roots-influenced music that is no less satisfying because of its smooth qualities. Traces of gospel, folk, and even bluegrass sprinkle these pop-oriented tunes, and while most of the edges here are sanded off--nobody will mistake him for Howlin' Wolf--Mo's cushy voice and charm create another winning entry in his catalog. Sophisticated and burnished, Keep It Simple goes down easy thanks to alluring songs that beckon you back like the memories of an old flame. --Hal Horowitz

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CD Reviews

You won't crack a frown
Janet Allen | Florida, United States | 02/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Keb' Mo' lets his light shine on this CD. The music is a mix of blues, pop, with a bit of gospel and even bluegrass thrown in. The first track, "France" sets an upbeat mood, and makes you smile from the start. "Let Your Light Shine" has an affirming message with a gospel tone. The sardonic "Prosperity Blues" laments that things can be so good, they're bad. And the title track, "Keep it Simple" features some of the best guitar work on the CD.Keb's "Riley B. King" is a great tribute to a great man, and it features outstanding guitar solos from Robert Cray and Robben Ford. In "House In California" we get to hear Keb's bango playing, and some fine bluegrass instrumentation. Background vocals on the song are provided by Vince Gill, Amy Grant, and Andrea Zonn (who also plays the violin on the track).The other tracks are not disappointing, either. This is not "low down blues" but "up high blues". Keb's in fine voice and great songwriting form. Thanks, Mr. Mo', it was worth the wait."
Depends on what you like!
Gregory A. Glasscock | Alabama | 05/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Keb Mo has done 3 of my favorite albums (CD's...I am an old dog) of all time. Keb' Mo, Just Like You, and Slow Down are the three. The Door and Keep It Simple don't get me. He is still a great voice and guitar player but the music just doesn't move me. I think, as has been noted, that he is moving away from the blues and that is fine. I hate to see artists get pigeon holed into something they don't have their heart in. And in all fairness, none of the CD's are totally blues anyway. But I will say that if blues is your bag, then certainly start with one of the early works. If you like a littele more pop sound then buy Keep It Simple or The Door. By the way, I happen to enjoy Big Wide Grin, which is all covers, more than Keep It Simple or The Door. The selections are interesting and well performed. I stand Keb's version of America the Beautiful up with Ray Charles' version. And Everybody Be Yo'self is one of my favorite Keb' Mo recordings. I wait with interest to see where he goes next. I will continue to follow but will always gravitate to the first three works. One more thing, his Sessions at 54th make me want to see him live. He has a great stage persona."
"saw" the album live!
stumptowngal | 03/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A collection of warm sunshine -- Saw Keb live at the House of Blues for his debut of this album, where he unbelievably played STRAIGHT for 2 1/2 hours and came on back for more -- TWICE--- there was no stoppin him!
The songs on this album from You Don't Have to Shave Your Legs to Let Your Light Shine -- they are so filled with that beautiful Keb Mo' energy that you can't help but catch that big wide grin he's forever flashing-- he's a good man with a big heart and warm sweet beautiful message, and way, about him -- gonna get the cd just to bring me back to that night. This is what music is all about! Relax and smile and enjoy!!!"