By Dan Pavelich
Keb’ Mo’ may not be a household name, but he is definite confirmation that the blues didn’t die with B.B. King and Willie Dixon. Mo’ is a capable guitarist, but his greatest strength is his chameleon songwriter ability. With one foot deeply planted in the Mississippi Delta, the other foot dips its toes into Nashville, Chicago, Detroit, Philly and beyond.
It should come as no surprise that Mo’ has four Grammys at home, and this set is likely to net him a few more. “Put A Woman In Charge,” featuring the always-listenable Roseanne Cash, suggests that the world’s politics could be in better hands. “Don’t Throw It Away” is fine Louisiana blues, and “Cold Outside” is classic betrayal blues. All show that Mo’ is as well-rounded as they come. All killer, no sign of filler.
Madame X (Maverick)
“Madame X” is reportedly the result of influences soaked up, after relocating to Lisbon, Portugal during the summer of 2017. While the slow, hypnotic rhythms of the Portuguese coast are prevalent throughout, they seem to at times overwhelm Madge’s lead vocals and the rest of the mix.
“Dark Ballet” and “Future,” while lushly-produced, rely too heavily on the beat as the hook, instead of a clever lyric or melody line. While these songs may sound fab in a seas-side club on a balmy night, they just feel a bit too flimsy for my taste. I gave “Madame X” two spins, and nothing caught my ear enough to warrant a third.
Happiness Begins (Republic)
Young women of a certain age and their younger sisters, are celebrating the return of the Jonas Brothers, who’ve recently resurfaced. Thanks to a deft bit of marketing, the boys are back in town with a number one album. The singles “Sucker”,”Cool” and “Human” were bonafide radio hits (is there still such a thing?) before the album was even released.
Sales were also inflated when the band offered up a physical copy along with every concert ticket purchased. Essential, every ten thousand tickets that are sold also earns credit as ten thousand records or downloads sold. Pretty clever, eh? Sales techniques aside, “Happiness Begins” is a fun listen, albeit a little light on the power pop guitar sound that the brothers used to be known for.
Ed Sheehan/ No. 6 Collaborations Project (Atlantic)
Paul McCartney/Amoeba Gig (Capitol)
Big K.R.I.T./ K.R.I.T. IZ HERE (BMG)
Jonas Brothers/Music From “Chasing Happiness” (Republic)
Paul McCartney/Paul Is Live (Capitol)
America/50th Anniversary Collection (Rhino)
Lizzo/Cuz I Love You (Atlantic)
The Pretenders/With Friends (Cleopatra)
The Dollyrots/Daydream Explosion (Wicked Cool)
Sublime with Roma/Blessings (Red Music)
CD’s Provided By CD-DVD-Games Warehouse, 3717 80th Street, Kenosha, Wi, 53142,