by photojournalist Jayne Drooger
My first time at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre will probably prove to be my most memorable! For two nights this past week the stage was graced by none other than Kevin Moore, better known to friends and blues fans world-wide as Keb’ Mo’.
As the opening act, Anthony D’Amato played a fun mix of guitar and harp combined with an easy banter eliciting laughter from the crowd. He’s also an accomplished photographer. His music is described by Rolling Stone as “folk music raised on New Jersey grit.” One song in particular really touched my heart, from his latest album “At First There was Nothing” called “Enough”. Check him out here: http://www.anthonydamatomusic.com/…
Keb’ Mo’ sauntered onto the stage so unassuming. His easy way is one of his most endearing qualities and his music reflects that. At 71 years young, with five Grammys, 14 Blues Foundation Awards, and a groundbreaking career spanning nearly 50 years under his belt, Keb’ Mo’s got nothing left to prove. Just don’t tell him that. Some of his first songs included 62’ Chevy from his album latest “Good to Be”, the classic “Life is Beautiful” (1996) on acoustic. His assistant brought out another guitar while he joked about growing up and riding bikes in the neighborhood until the streetlights came on or his Mama came looking for him for which he’s STILL in therapy. He played one of his latest releases “Good to Be (Home Again)” from the previously mentioned album of the same name and followed it up with “I Remember You” and all the women in red stood up! Just kidding….
His band left the stage and that guitar-delivering assistant (who Keb’ Mo’ quips was stolen from Chippendale’s) brought out his beautiful Silver Resonator on which he played solo with slide and harp “Suitcase”, among others. After switching to acoustic he continued his solo set with “I Think of You”.
He then brought back his incredible band and introduced them all;
Dane (from Maine) Farnsworth on keys
Casey Wasner on drums and mandolin
Zachariah Witcher on bass
The band broke into a personal favorite, and we were all singing along to “Don’t Shave Your Legs for Me”, followed by “Hand it over” which took the audience to church and had everyone clapping in time. “Angelina” and “Henry” took us back in time. “Perpetual Blues Machine” tells a story of that one that showed her true colors which is a rarity is Keb’s music. “The Whole Enchilada” with its funky bass line brings us back to a good kind of love. Keb’ Mo’ writes songs about strong women and one of his encore songs “ She Just Wants to Dance” had us dancing in the aisles.
My deepest gratitude to the team at The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre for their hospitality. It was a thrill for me to photograph and review one of my all-time favorites. As his final song states the future looks “Marvelous to Me”