Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Keb’ Mo’: Union Chapel, London 2/7/19

Keb Mo: Union chapel, London 2/7/19
Keb Mo: Union chapel, London 2/7/19 Keb Mo: Union chapel, London 2/7/19 Keb Mo: Union chapel, London 2/7/19 Keb Mo: Union chapel, London 2/7/19

In typically relaxed heartfelt/tender style, four-time Grammy winning blues star Keb’ Mo’ made a rare UK appearance, entertaining enthralled fans solo style at Islington’s ever impressive Union Chapel.

A fine solo support set came from UK blues maestro Martin Harley. Technically brilliant on the lap guitar and singing with passion, Harley’s set included “Trouble”, “One For The Road” and the standard “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”.
Previewing “Brother” from his forthcoming album due in September, he played his “Blues At My Window” and there cannot be many blues songs written in an Australian nunnery. Harley is back headlining the Union Chapel with his band on 3rd October.

“I’m so glad to be here, I’m so glad you’re here”, said Keb’ Mo’ as he took the stage to a warm reception from the Union Chapel faithful. Touring to promote his latest album “Oklahoma” he played a 90-minute set of blues, playing well within himself and in his comfort zone of heartfelt, tender blues.

Opening with “Rita” and “Tell Everybody I Know” he switched between acoustic and resonator guitars, with his guitar tech leading hand-clapping on several numbers.

“Oklahoma” was one of three tracks from the new alum, the others being “I Remember You” and “This Is My Home”, a song about immigrants, following the recent theme by fellow American bluesman Eric Bibb who released the album Migration Blues in 2017.

“Life Is Beautiful” summed up the performance, one of sincerity, honesty and love, and is a song Mo’ “loves to play”. “More Than One Way Home” led into a snippet of “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” with a crowd whistle-along at the end.

Song of the night was “Henry” a slow blues number about the people who made the blues “I can see my future, I can feel my past” sang Mo’.

To begin a three-track encore Mo’ played a crowd request of the achingly beautiful “Every Morning” in addition to the two songs on his setlist, finishing with “City Boy”.


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