JACKSON, Wyo.—One of the many respectable traits about Keb’ Mo’ is his continuity with maintaining a strong foundation in roots music while progressing forward as an artist. As with frequent collaboration and mentor Taj Mahal, he’s not trying to appease the masses with commercially suggested production techniques or mysterious experiments in electronic embellishments. Instead, Keb’ Mo’ has favored a no-nonsense approach to traditional blues and roots that has earned him eleven Grammy Nominations and four Grammy wins. He’ll take stage as a solo performer this Friday at the Center Theater.
“I’m more interested in pleasing myself, and making records that make me feel proud and make me feel like I’ve done my best. And if other people like it, that’s gravy,” Keb’ Mo’ stated with the release of his 2019 album, Oklahoma. “When you are in a certain part of your life, the concept of an album is woven into the process. All of these songs stemmed from important issues and topics worldwide that really resonated with me during the time we were recording the project.”
The impetus for Oklahoma began when Keb’ witnessed first-hand the aftermath of a destructive tornado while doing a 2013 benefit show with Kenny Wayne Shepard. The album evolved from being a solo project to incorporating several guests including Taj Mahal, Roseanne Cash, a lap steel cameo by Robert Randolph, background vocals from Christian/Latin pop star Jaci Velasquez, and co-writing with Oklahoma native Dara Tucker. In his nearly four decades as a recording artist, its evident that Keb’ can stretch beyond the confines of old fashioned blues and country into whatever direction he pleases. Just follow him with an open mind and one is rarely disappointed.
Former “America’s Got Talent” contestant, R&B artist Alicia Michilli will open the show. Check out the Detroit-born, Nashville-based singer’s new EP, Letters From The Edge.
The Center presents Keb’ Mo’ with guest Alicia Michilli at 8 p.m. Friday at the Center Theater. $51-$71. VIP Package available for $149, which includes a Meet & Greet Experience, one premium reserved seat in the pit, one autographed merchandise gift, and early venue entry. JHCenterForTheArts.org.
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