Oklahoma (Concord Records)
It seems that Keb' Mo' has a few things on his mind, and the L.A.-born singer/songwriter has made sure to get it all down on his 13th studio album, Oklahoma.
The current political situation in America seems to suffuse practically every lyric in his latest batch of songs, lending an urgency perhaps missing from his enjoyable recent collaboration with Taj Mahal (TajMo), or even his Grammy-nominated, 2014 release BLUESAmericana.
As always, Mo' (a.k.a. Kevin Roosevelt Moore) traffics in whatever musical style he finds appropriate to the song; his tale of immigrants struggling and connecting in America (This Is My Home) has a light, country feel, while the title track winds funk bass, shimmering organ, fiddle, and percussion in among pointed lyrics, both sardonic and hopeful.
Taj Mahal lends the recycling anthem Don't Throw It Away both harmonica and voice, while Rosanne Cash guests on the surging, unabashedly feminist Put A Woman In Charge.
There’s a light touch on all of this social commentary, and a deft weaving of musical styles, probably not too surprising for a man who has made few (if any) missteps in a nearly 40-year career.