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Live Review: Keb' Mo'

8 April 2015 | 11:53 am | Hattie O’Donnell

"Keb’ Mo’ brought Americana blues to Marrickville in a massive way..."

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In Sydney after performing at the Byron Bay Blues Festival, living legend Keb’ Mo’ (Kevin Moore) gave a soulful performance at the Factory Theatre. Toe-tapping commenced with Muddy Water – an opening track that got the crowd ready for a night of bluesy goodness.

Moore’s seemingly effortless prowess on all of his instruments (harmonica, acoustic and slide guitar) was only outshone by his smooth-as-caramel vocals. He started off solo, filling the stage with the wholesome sound of one man, an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. Moore channelled some true Delta blues, with simple yet deep lyrics and some killer bass lines in songs like Life Is Beautiful.

The three-time Grammy Award winner was then joined by a talented trio blending crisp drums, sassy bass and keys (both organ and keyboard). The band was tight and their precision together (and solo) complemented Moore’s style seamlessly.

After a brief intermission, the slower, and in Moore’s own words “exposed” part of the show transformed into a funky party with Suitcase, The Worst Is Yet To Come and the humorous Shave Yo’ Legs and Government Cheese.

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Moore is a man who truly knows his craft, stroking both upbeat tunes and deeply heartfelt ballads from his instruments. The show brought out real soul and several new dimensions – the recordings are tight and clean, but the banter, stage presence, good vibes and sheer volume of the music in the flesh was incredible – especially in Old Me Better.

Keb’ Mo’ brought Americana blues to Marrickville in a massive way last night. But was it better than Byron Bay? “We performed naked in Byron Bay – they let you do anything up there! But the owners here wouldn’t let us do it…” Make up your own mind, but you can’t deny the guy has a sense of humour.