Following the release of the thought-provoking Oklahoma, a record that brought worldly issues to the forefront, Keb’ Mo’ returns to lift spirits with a heartfelt feel-good Christmas album Moonlight, Mistletoe & You, due for release on 18 October via Snakefarm Records (UK).
After 25 years performing under the ‘Keb’ Mo’ alias, this widely respected artist has finally granted his eclectic global fan base a Christmas outing, offering a melting pot of influences and original songs.
Moonlight, Mistletoe & You embraces Keb’ Mo’s diverse talents to great effect, showing that the legendary blues man and four-time Grammy Award winner is just as adept addressing R&B and Americana-styled roots music. Produced by Keb’ himself and recorded by Zach Allen at Stu Stu Studio in Franklin, Tennessee, this genre-bending artist provides seven new songs with three covers.
“After 25 years of performing without releasing a Christmas album, I felt now was as good a time as any to spread some love and compassion” says Keb’ Mo’. “There’s something about Christmas time that makes everyone’s heart a little lighter, and I wanted to contribute to the movement of spreading a little joy. I feel like I was able to accomplish that through the making of the album”.
Starting the album, Keb’ Mo’ puts his spin on a Christmas Classic, ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’, offering a more uplifting, optimistic disposition versus the Charles Brown original and the many covers that have followed it. While singing lyrics like “Oh what a Christmas to sing the blues, my baby’s gone, and I have no friends, to wish me greetings once again”, Keb’s warm version of the song offers a sense of hope.
Staying true to his Blues roots, Keb’ uses the building blocks of a traditional Blues song with the tracks ‘Santa Claus Santa Claus’ and ‘Santa Claus Blues’, while bringing his own flair to the Mildred Bailey original and Billie Holiday-covered classic, ‘I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm’. Keb’ keeps a jazz-like sway throughout with the help of Melissa Manchester’s distinctive vocals, acting as his female counterpart.
Many can relate to the humorous track, ‘Christmas Is Annoying’, helping one’s inner Scrooge to shine, while pointing out the maddening events that come along with the Christmas season, like maxing out credit cards and having “no time to relax”.
Keb’ also highlights the romance that soars throughout the holiday period, with both the title track ‘Moonlight, Mistletoe & You’ and closing number, ‘One More Year With You’, carrying a more traditional Christmas sound. While “Moonlight…” brings on the saxophone solo, ‘One More Year With You’ starts with jingle bells accompanied by piano and brass horns throughout, giving a true sense of the season and closing the album on a high note singing “sign me up for one more year with you”.
Moonlight, Mistletoe & You is out on 18 November. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and buy it here.
Moonlight, Mistletoe & You:
‘Please Come Home for Christmas’
‘Moonlight, Mistletoe & You’
‘Santa Claus Santa Claus’
‘Christmas is Annoying’
‘Merry Merry Christmas’
‘I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm’
‘Santa Claus Blues’
‘When the Children Sing’
‘One More Year With You’