Down Beat - 12/00, p.884 stars out of 5
- "...His 4th and best album....he displays the uncommon naturalness that is central to his appeal as both a singer and 6-string guitarist..."
Personnel: Keb' Mo' (vocals, guitar, harmonica); James "D-Train" Williams , Dennis Collins , Leon Ware, Marva Hicks (vocals, background vocals); Clayton Gibb (banjo); Scarlet Rivera (violin); Thomas Tally (viola); Gerri Sutyak (cello); Lawrence Feldman (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); David Mann (tenor saxophone); Lew Soloff (trumpet); Michael Davis (trombone); Greg Phillinganes (keyboards, synthesizer, guitar synthesizer); Tommy Eyre (string synthesizer); Steve Jordan , Sergio Gonz lez (drums, percussion); Jim Keltner (drums).
Audio Mixers: Dave O'Donnell ; Ryan Smith .
Recording information: Groovemasters, Santa Monica, CA; Right Track Recording Studio, New York, NY; Right Track Studios, NY; Stu Stu Studio, Marina Del Rey, CA; Stu Stu Studios, Marina Del Rey, CA; The Groove Masters, Santa Monica, CA; The Secret Studio, New York, NY.
Photographer: John Halpern.
For his fourth album, California native Keb' Mo' continues down his same creative path, weaving traditional country blues with more contemporary pop sounds. Content to leave guitar histrionics to young bucks like Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the former Kevin Moore instead uses his skill with a National Steel guitar to give his material a texture like smooth sippin' whiskey.
Keb' Mo's most endearing quality is a laid-back persona that fits comfortably like a worn pair of jeans. This molasses-slow delivery works particularly well on the uplifting title track of spiritual renewal, and the laconic "It's All Coming Back," which features jazzy guitar chords and George Benson-like scatting. He demonstrates a sure hand in covering a wide range of human emotion and social situations, including the sad scenarios of class barriers ("Anyway") and poignant heartbreak ("Come On Back"). Elsewhere, he shows off his sassy side with the slyly ribald "Gimme What You Got," complete with funky licks buoyed by bouncy brass and string arrangements, in addition to a weird, Eurodisco-like cover of Elmore James' "It Hurts Me Too," dripping with slide guitar.