Photography by Louise Uznanski and Richard Uznanski for Ontapblog.
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It was the front row’s fault. Keb’ Mo’, the bluesman, appearing in Millville, New Jersey’s Levoy Theater, asked the audience for song requests during his Sunday night show. The request for ‘Color Me Father’ came from a woman in the front row. As Keb’ looked at her and then looked at her again, he quipped, “Now you’re gonna make me have to remember the lyrics.” The song is a cover of The Winston’s song and was part of an agent-mandated children’s album Keb’ made several years ago. ‘But,” he said, “I was glad I made that album because it made me think about these things I needed to think about.” And so, like so many other requested songs Keb’ did last night, he sat right down and sang it.
And the requests kept flying up to the stage. ‘Angelina’, ‘She Just Wants to Dance’, ‘Shave Yo Legs’, ‘Dangerous Mood’ and a new song from the April 22nd new release BluesAmericana titled ‘I Like the Old Me Better’, made the night of story telling more like an evening in your living room where Keb’ Mo’, his drummer Casey Wasner and cellist/bassist Tom Shinness just happened to come by with all of their instruments and songs in their heads.
A last request, blamed on the front row, was for Keb’ to bring out that banjo sitting on the guitar rack but never brought out during the night. Keb’ hoped no one would notice it was there. He regretted bringing it out but he played it willingly and beautifully. Keb’ said “I play the banjo all of the time at home. It’s a happy instrument and it makes me happy when I play it.” So, Keb’ and his two piece band filled everyone’s requests making it seem like the band dropped by your living room and played anything you wanted them to. Although the front row gets all the blame, the balcony claimed a request or two. An evening with Keb’ Mo’ made it a friendly rivalry and it did help to make the music last for two-and-a-half hours. It was nice to put your feet up and enjoy.
For more about Keb’s new CD and tour dates, click here: http://www.bluesamericana.com/