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Keb’ Mo’: Slow Down

On Slow Down (Okeh/550 Music BK 69376; 55:08), Keb’ Mo’ -the Hootie & The Blowfish of the blues -delivers the same kind of nice, engaging fare that has made him a favorite in frat houses throughout the nation. Pieces like “Muddy Water,” “I Was Wrong” and “Everything I Need” owe more to Jackson Browne and Kenny Loggins (substitute the pop star of your choice) than to Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf (substitute the real-deal bluesman of your choice). “Henry” sounds like an excerpt from Paul Simon’s next concept/travelogue album/musical on the Mississippi Delta while “God Trying to Get Your Attention” is about as churchy as John Hiatt. By pop music standards, this is decent stuff. But there’s slim pickings here for hardcore blues fans, notably the humorous shuffle “Soon As I Get Paid,” a gutbucket “Letter To Tracy” and a stark, unaccompanied version of Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain.”

Originally Published