Recording information: Stu Stu Studio, Nashville, TN; The Tracking Room, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Andrea Lucero.
The title is a tip-off that after the soul excursion of The Reflection, Keb' Mo' is getting back to the blues, but also that he's concerned with not limiting himself to just that genre. It's clear Keb' Mo' has a broad view of the blues, seeing it as the backbone of American music, a generous definition he makes plain on BLUESAmericana. As the record rolls through its ten tracks, it amiably drifts across the country, touching upon the careening New Orleans stomp of "Old Me Better" as well as the soulful thrum of Memphis on "For Better or Worse." Keb' Mo' takes plenty of stops along the way, favoring a bit of Chicago grind and low-key Texas shuffles, but usually he pours it all into a relaxed, friendly groove that leaves plenty of space for his warm, cheerful vocals. Such an emphasis on feel means that beneath its sly anthropology, BLUESAmericana is essentially mood music, a soundtrack for good times on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and if that seems like slight praise, it also means that the album ultimately proves Keb' Mo''s point; blues can be heard in every thread of the musical fabric of America. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine