Keb Mo For a revered, three-time Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy winner, the guitarist and songwriter Keb Mo really ain't that much about the blues. True, he came out of Compton playing gritty covers of Robert Johnson (on his self-titled debut LP of 1994), jammed with Albert Collins and Big Joe Turner, and was a key contributor to the film and music series Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, but Keb Mo's musical reach has always been broader than just the blues, if nowhere near as deep. His affinities lie with a clean, pristine mix of adult pop, light funk and mellow, pre-disco soul. It's a musical universe as far from the Mississippi delta as it is from contemporary hip-hop, nestling comfortably in a smooth, '70s-era Steely Dan studio sheen. Keb Mo cut his teeth as an A&M staff songwriter, penning pop and old-school R&B, and his sensibilities are closer to Bill Withers than Howlin' Wolf. Still, he slings a mean National Steel guitar, perhaps raising expectations among blues purists that he never intended to meet. Keb Mo's oeuvre is an irony-free variation on the late-'70s Doobie Brothers modus operandi, carefully arranged and impeccably played. It may lack fire in the belly, but that's the hand this guitar man chooses to play. With Chuck "The Charleyhorse" Johnson.