JUNE 10 • 7:30PMBuy Tickets
Tickets: $69, $59, $49, $39, $25 | Limit 8 tickets per mailing address
DOORS 6:30PM • SHOWTIME 7:30PM
Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre • Basie Center Campus • 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank
It’s a little over 2,000 miles from Compton to Nashville, but drop the needle on Keb’ Mo’s captivating new album, Good To Be, and you can make the trip in a cool three-and-a-half-minutes flat.
“I’ve lived in Nashville for the last eleven years,” says Keb’, “but Compton has always been my home. Finding a way to connect those two places on this album was a powerful thing for me. It felt like something I needed to do.”
Written partially in Nashville and partially in the Compton house Keb’ grew up in, Good To Be is a celebration of roots and resilience, of growth and gratitude, of hope and memory. The songs here draw on country, soul, and blues to forge a sound that transcends genre and geography, weaving together past and present into a heartwarming tapestry spanning more than forty years of sonic evolution. Though Keb’ worked with a wide variety of collaborators on the project—country legend Vince Gill produced three tracks, while famed producer Tom Hambridge (B.B. King, Buddy Guy) helmed several more, and special guests like Darius Rucker, Kristin Chenoweth, and Old Crow Medicine Show appear throughout—it remains a deeply cohesive work, one anchored by the five-time GRAMMY winner’s magnetic vocal delivery and relentless optimism. “It’s good to be here / It’s good to be anywhere,” Keb’ sings on the album’s easygoing title track. “It’s good to be back / Good to be home again.”
“I believe that music has the power to heal,” Keb’ explains, “and I wanted this album to make people feel good. I wanted it to bring joy and make them maybe think about where they come from and the journeys that brought them to where they are.”
For Keb’ Mo’, that journey began nearly half a century ago, when he landed his first major gig in Papa John Creach’s band at the age of 21. Over the course of the next 20 years, Keb’ would go on to establish himself as a respected guitarist, songwriter, and arranger, and though he recorded a one-off album in 1980 under his birth name, Kevin Moore, it wasn’t until 1994 that he would introduce the world to Keb’ Mo’ with the release of his widely acclaimed self-titled debut. Critics were quick to take note of Keb’s modern, genre-bending take on old school sounds, and two years later, he garnered his first GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album with Just Like You. In the decades to come, Keb’ would take home four more GRAMMY Awards; top the Billboard Blues Chart seven times; perform everywhere from Carnegie Hall to The White House; collaborate with many including Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, The Chicks, and Lyle Lovett; have compositions recorded and sampled by artists as diverse as B.B. King, Zac Brown, and BTS; release signature guitars with both Gibson and Martin; appear in and compose music for films and TV shows like The Blues, Mike and Molly, and Can’t You Hear The Wind Howl; and earn the Americana Music Association’s 2021 award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance. NPR’s Mountain Stage hailed him as “one of the most decorated living blues artists,” while The New Yorker raved that “few musicians emblematize the blues like Kevin Moore,” and The New York Times praised “the subtle twists of his songwriting” along with his knack for “facing down desolation with a grin.”
“I’m happy with my success and grateful for my career,” Keb’ explains, “but I’m still breathing and I’m still hungry. I may be about to turn 70, but I’ve got no interest in slowing down. I’m out there going for it every single day.”
Presented by Count Basie Center for the Arts
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Masks are not required to attend performances at Count Basie Center venues, though we welcome their use and respect all patrons who choose to continue doing so.