Seeking to define his feelings in troubled times, contemporary blues singer/songwriter has assembled a collection of covers to serve as his next album. Due Sept. 21 via Okeh/Epic, “Peace … Back By Popular Demand” boasts songs made famous by the likes of Bob Dylan, Donny Hathaway, the Youngbloods and Elvis Costello.
“I wanted to this record to be meaningful and relevant to what I was feeling in our own time,” the artist says. “It started out as a collection of protest songs — but it ended up as an album about peace and freedom.”
Recorded in Los Angeles in just a month’s time, the self-produced set opens with a version of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and closes with a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Along the way, the artist, whose given name is Kevin Moore, revisits such classics as Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Happening, Brother,” Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” and the Rascals’ “People Got To Be Free.” Tucked amidst the covers is one original, “Talk.”
Keb’ Mo’ plays a host of stringed instruments on the album, including electric and acoustic guitars, dobro and mandolin. Two members of his band, keyboardist Jeff Paris and bassist Reggie McBride, joined him in the studio.
Rounding out the studio team is a collection of storied session players: drummers Stephen Ferrone (Average White Band, Eric Clapton) and Harvey Mason (Herbie Hancock, George Benson), percussionist Paulinho Da Costa (Earth Wind & Fire, Dizzy Gillespie) and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. (Temptations, Aretha Franklin).
Here is the “Peace… Back By Popular Demand” track list:
“For What It’s Worth”
“Wake Up Everybody”
“People Got to Be Free”
“What’s Happening, Brother”
“The Times They Are A-Changing”
“Someday We’ll All Be Free”
“(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love, and Understanding”