'Blues is about the truth': Interview with Keb’ Mo’

By Zaki JufriEvents - 27 March 2012 11:12 AM | Updated 11:20 AM

'Blues is about the truth': Interview with Keb’ Mo’

Keb’ Mo’ will be performing at the Timbre Rock & Roots Festival on Friday 30 March 2012.

For a three-time Grammy winner, you might think that Blues artist Keb’ Mo’ is all about the live ‘intimate’ concert experience.

But the artist--born Kevin Moore—readily admits that he actually favours performing at festivals. “I personally prefer performing at festivals as the pressure it all not on you,” he quips.

“I love to perform at festivals as I can get to meet a lot of different people like fans as well as other musicians. The atmosphere is definitely more festive and the vibe kind of ‘loose’. Concerts on the other hand are more serious and it’s more focused on you as an artiste,” Moore adds.

The award-winning guitarist will be in Singapore to perform at the third instalment of the two-day Timbre Rock & Roots Festival(Read more about the festival) on 30 to 31 March 2012; and he is really thrilled at the chance.

“I very excited to performing at the Rock & Roots Festival. I was actually surprised to get the offer to perform and I jumped at the chance. It will be my very first time in Singapore. The only thing I heard about Singapore so far is that you can’t chew gum. So I really look forward to seeing the city,” he tells during a telephone interview.

‘We Don’t Need It’ – Keb’ Mo’

Moore, who says he grew up in Compton surrounded by blues – a brand of music he wasn’t interested in – and didn’t really pick up the genre until his 30s: “I’ve been listening to Gospel music my whole life as I have to go to church every Sunday since I was a little kid. Blues is something that I discovered along the way. Throughout my life, I’ve been running into it. At first I tried ignoring it until one day I said, “Hey ok, let’s do this (picking up blues music).”

“Blues, to me, is about telling the truth. It’s about talking about things that really matter to you; it’s about talking about things that are uncomfortable, and then laughing about it,” he explains.

‘The Whole Enchilada’ – Keb’ Mo’

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Just out with a new album last year, on his Yolabelle International label, ‘The Reflection’ features 12 tracks as well as guest performing artists such as Vince Gill, Dave koz, India Arie and Marcus Miller.

“‘The Reflection’ is a very different project as compared to my previous records. It’s more soul and R ‘n’ B influenced,” he says.

While his debut album featured a guitar-playing Blues troubadour, ‘The Reflection’ features Moore leaving his Blues-Folk influences and going for gold. Gone are the acoustic guitars (not totally gone but rarely heard) and in come the polished and slick arrangements and soulful grooves.

“It’s my coming out party,” Moore jests. “It’s the debut release from my label and I’m telling the world, “Come look at Keb’ Mo’”,” he adds.

And go look at him you can at the Marina Promenade come March 30.

“You can expect an honest performance from me and my band. We will take you on a journey of truth through acoustic numbers and some energetic stuff as well.”

Keb’ Mo’ will be performing at the Timbre Rock & Roots Festival on Friday 30 March 2012. Tickets available from Sistic.