Opening Act: Scott Mulvahill
“Few artists invest as much soul and passion into their art as Keb’ Mo’. Although his basis may be the blues, his music incorporates folk, soul, country, and R&B in a way that eludes easy categorization, but still comes across as effortlessly engaging while imbuing consistent good vibes and an ease brought about through infectious enthusiasm.” – American Songwriter, 4.5/5 Stars.
With five GRAMMYs, 14 Blues Foundation Awards, and a groundbreaking career spanning nearly 50 years under his belt, Keb’ Mo’ stands as one of the most accomplished and respected artists working in contemporary roots music today. Born and raised in Compton, California, Keb’ got his start working behind the scenes as a guitarist, songwriter, and arranger before breaking out internationally with the release of his 1994 self-titled debut, which earned widespread acclaim for its genre-bending take on old school sounds. In the decades that followed, Keb’ would go on to top the Billboard Blues Chart seven times; perform everywhere from Carnegie Hall to The White House; collaborate with luminaries like Taj Mahal, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, The Chicks, and Lyle Lovett; have his compositions recorded and sampled by artists as diverse as B.B. King, Zac Brown, and BTS; release signature guitars with both Gibson and Martin; compose music for television series like Mike and Molly, Memphis Beat, B Positive, and Martha Stewart Living; appear as himself in Martin Scorcese’s The Blues, Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing, and the iconic children’s series Sesame Street; and earn the Americana Music Association’s 2021 award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance. Keb’s newest album, Good To Be, weaves together the sounds of his childhood in Compton with the influences of his adopted hometown of Nashville, drawing on country, soul, and blues to craft a heartwarming tapestry that transcends genre and geography as it celebrates the power of love and resilience, growth and gratitude, hope and memory.
About opening act Scott Mullvahill:
Frontman. Singer-songwriter. World-renowned upright bassist. Multi-instrumentalist. Scott Mulvahill is leaving his unique mark on the intersecting worlds of Americana, bluegrass, folk, jazz, rock & roll, and roots music. Raised in Houston, Mulvahill cut his teeth as a member of Ricky Skaggs’ acclaimed band, Kentucky Thunder. The group toured internationally for five years, backed by the bottom-heavy pulse of Mulvahill’s upright bass. Along the way, he also composed music of his own, shining a light on the genre-jumping influences—Paul Simon’s sophisticated pop, James Taylor’s folk, Jaco Pastorius’ innovative jazz, and more—that would eventually inspire the material on his 2018 solo debut, Himalayas. His performances as part of Skaggs’ nightly shows laid the brickwork for Mulvahill’s transition from hotshot sideman to compelling frontman.
Encouraged by musical mentor Bruce Hornsby, Mulvahill developed a unique approach to his songwriting—one that mixed his chops as an upright bassist with hook-heavy melodies and compelling narratives. A true “musician’s musician,”Mulvahill fills his solo debut with complex finger work and innovative progressions. At the same time, Himalayas is a song-driven record that focuses its attention not upon Mulvahill’s virtuosity, but upon the sheer listenability of his material. This is acoustic-leaning roots music of the highest caliber, shot through with elastic vocals, dobro, fiddle, and the honest, biographical lyrics of a songwriter who gave up an enviable position in Skaggs’ band to pursue his own muse.
“I wanna go over where I’ve never been,” he sings during the sparsely-decorated title track, one of several tracks to deal with the universal themes of facing one’s fears, taking leaps, and chasing down new horizons. Those messages are reflected in Mulvahill’s own career, as he pioneers a sound centered upon his voice and upright bass. “As important as the bass is to the sound of my music, it’s not a crutch,” he says. “To me, the songwriting, the voice, and the message are what really matter. 2020’s “Creative Potential” and 2021’s “Surrounded” EPs have found him taking those leaps while keeping true to the core of his musicianship, songwriting, unique concept of artistry. For a lifelong musician like Scott Mulvahill, the climb is never over.
Tuesday, September 19th 2023 - 7:30 PM | Cascade Theatre
- High Energy Show:
- Standing or dancing is likely.
- The balcony affords the best visibility for those who wish to remain seated.