Door

The Door

5.0 5
by Keb' Mo'
     
 

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Kevin Moore took the country-sounding name Keb' Mo' before emerging as a singer-songwriter in 1994. His music and guitar style is rooted in folk and the blues, but his original songs are strictly California contemporary -- introspective with touches of tongue-in- cheek humor. The Door, produced by Russ Titleman, who has worked with See more details below

Overview

Kevin Moore took the country-sounding name Keb' Mo' before emerging as a singer-songwriter in 1994. His music and guitar style is rooted in folk and the blues, but his original songs are strictly California contemporary -- introspective with touches of tongue-in- cheek humor. The Door, produced by Russ Titleman, who has worked with Eric Clapton, James Taylor, and Paul Simon, has a polished sound unlike Mo's previous albums. There are tasteful orchestral fills, organ swells, and appropriate choral support throughout the set, all of it enhancing the core acoustic sound. The title cut describes the songwriter's spiritual renewal with a gospely chorus lifting the song out of the blues. "The Beginning" is an inspirational hymn complete with a weeping electric guitar, while the activist "Stand Up and Be Strong" has a churchy feel with a rockin' Pentacostal bed firing it up. When it comes to love, Mo's songs range from the toe-tappin' "Loola Loo," about a girlfriend who has strayed, to the sad longing of "Anyway," a story song about class barriers. The obligatory catchy sing along is a funky, funny lust number, "Gimme Whacha' Got." A new facet of Mo' is also revealed on this recording. Both "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and "Change" have a soft jazz touch. Mo' scats on the organ-based blues of the former and comes off a bit like George Benson on the latter. But because he came to this career as a mature singer-songwriter, all of Mo's shadings of the blues are organic, au naturelle -- just what you'd expect from a California-bred artist.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Keb' Mo''s self-titled first album, from its Robert Johnson covers to its appearance on a resuscitated Okeh Records, seemed to suggest the arrival of a Delta blues traditionalist, even though the former Kevin Moore was really a Los Angeles native who had kicked around the music business for years playing various styles of music. The follow-up, Just Like You, was therefore a disappointment to blues purists, since it clearly used folk-blues as a basis to create adult contemporary pop in the Bonnie Raitt mold. But to the music industry, that was just fine, since it fostered the hope that here was an artist (finally!) who could find a way to make the blues -- consistently revered but commercially dicey -- pay, and Keb' Mo' won a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for his effort. Slow Down (1998) brought him a second Grammy and got even higher in the charts. The Door is more of the same. Keb' Mo''s slightly gritty voice and fingerpicking are the focus of the music, but he does not hesitate to add mainstream pop elements, beginning with writing partners who include Bobby McFerrin and Melissa Manchester, and continuing with a backup band that features such session aces as keyboard player Greg Phillinganes and drummer Jim Keltner. This is music that is folkish and bluesy rather than being actual folk-blues. Just in case anyone hasn't gotten the point yet, Keb' Mo' begins the album's sole cover, Elmore James' "It Hurts Me Too," in authentic folk-blues style, after which the arrangement lurches into a heavily percussive, anything but traditional direction. It's fair warning that the singer/guitarist is interested in tradition only as a jumping-off point. Maybe that's what "contemporary blues" is.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646142820
catalogNumber:
61428

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Keb' Mo'   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Michael Davis   Trombone
David Mann   Tenor Saxophone
Rob Mounsey   Conductor
Lew Soloff   Trumpet
Marva Hicks   Vocals,Background Vocals
Scarlet Rivera   Violin
Jim Keltner   Drums
James "D-Train" Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
Tommy Eyre   Synthesizer Strings
Lawrence Feldman   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Reggie McBride   Bass
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer,Pedal Steel Guitar,Keyboards,Synthesizer Guitar
Gerri Sutyak   Cello
Thomas Tally   Viola
Leon Ware   Vocals,Background Vocals
Freddie "Ready Freddie" Washington   Bass
Sergio González   Percussion,Drums
Steve Jordan   Percussion,Drums
Clayton Gibb   Banjo
Dennis Collins   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Rob Mounsey   Horn Arrangements,Horn Conductor
Jill Dell'Abate   Producer,Additional Production
Tommy Eyre   String Arrangements
Dave O'Donnell   Engineer
Russ Titelman   Producer
Keb' Mo'   Producer
Art Smith   Guitar Techician
Joel Zimmerman   Art Direction
John Boncimino   Management
Jill D. Abate   Producer
Hans Leibert   Engineer
London   Composer
Mark Johnson   Engineer

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Customer Reviews

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The Door 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the man is solid every song.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is not like Keb's others. It isn't as traditional as the others, in the blues sense, but it shows growth and his ability to take a chance. There are some incredible songs on this CD and the more i listen to it the more I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again, another gem. This CD definitely has more layers than his others and at first it threw me a bit, but the more I listened to it the more I loved it. There is no one in my collectin of CD's that can evoke such a wide array of emotion when I listen to them as Keb'Mo'. He's in a class all of his own. Can you tell I think the guy is great??!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keb Mo is the most moving artist around! His music tells a story you do not want to end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keb Mo is probably one of the best, yet hidden, blues musicians on the market. His lyrics tell a story and his sound is unique. This is an artist that I didn't have a single album 12 months ago, got "Suitcase" as a gift. Saw him in concert, I have only one more album to complete the Keb Mo set.