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Music

CNN Showbiz Today's Mark Scheerer interviews Keb' Mo'

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Keb' Mo' in the groove

Web posted on: Wednesday, October 14, 1998 5:18:54 PM

From Correspondent Mark Scheerer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- He was born Kevin Moore, but blues fans know him best as Keb' Mo'. And now the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, whose work is being heard on the radio, television and in the movies, is enjoying the success of his new album.

Keb' Mo' says he liked the name "Slow Down" for his third CD so he'd have a constant reminder to himself.

"It was kinda like a signal to myself to slow down and go for more quality, than quantity when doing this stuff," he says.

Keb' Mo' with Bonnie Raitt

Busy Keb'

Still, it seems Keb' Mo' is managing to do both. Since his 1994 debut, his music has been everywhere. On television, it was seen in the series "Touched By an Angel," and is on the newly released soundtrack from the show.

Later this month Keb' Mo' will appear as both an actor and a musician in CBS' "The Promised Land," which will feature more of his music.

His film work includes the soundtracks to "One Fine Day," Kevin Costner's "Tin Cup," and the upcoming "Down in the Delta," directed by Maya Angelou.

Keb' Mo' is also finding time to tour -- as a headliner and with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Celine Dion. Along the way, Keb' Mo' has picked up a host of awards, including a Grammy for his last release.

'That's a heavy honor'

With all this demand for the man and his music, "Slow Down" also serves as a reminder for Keb' Mo' to keep his head in check.

"I'd like to stay centered and stay with who I am," he says. "I love to play and I love to write and I love to do what I do and I don't want anything, including my ego, to get in the way of me doing that."

He co-produced his new album, and wrote or co-wrote 12 of the cuts on the CD. Yet for all the acclaim his blues-touched music has garnered him, Keb' Mo' does not see himself as a bluesman.

"That's a heavy honor to really be a bluesman," he says. "I love the blues, I do the blues, but I'm probably not consistent enough doing just blues, blues, blues, to be a blues artist."

But the singer-songwriter is grateful for the lesson his blues heroes taught him about the message of the music.

"If you're talking about what's going on in your life, chances are there's a couple more people out there that are having the same experience and then you don't feel like such an island anymore," he says. "The blues kinda brings everyone together."

And these days Keb' Mo' is the bridge that takes them there.

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