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Keb’ Mo’ added to folk festival lineup

FolkWest has announced its 2011 Four Corners Folk Festival lineup for the 16th annual event, taking place Sept. 2-4 on Reservoir Hill Park.

 The bar has definitely been raised this year, with headliner and multiple Grammy Award-winning artist Keb’ Mo’, who will close the festival on Sunday.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Keb’ Mo’s music is a living link to the seminal Delta blues that traveled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America — informing all of its musical roots —before evolving into a universally celebrated art form.

Born Kevin Moore in South Los Angeles to parents originally from the deep South, he adopted his better known stage name when he was a young player who became inspired by the force of this essential African-American legacy.

 In the storied tradition of bluesmen before him, including Muddy Waters (formerly McKinley Morganfield) and Taj Mahal (who began his days as Henry St. Clair Fredericks), Moore became known as Keb’ Mo’. His acclaimed self-titled 1994 debut album introduced that now famous appellation to the world, and his latest album, 2006’s “Suitcase,” brings it to new heights.

 Mo’s music is also a purely post-modern expression of the artistic and cultural journey that has transformed the blues, and his own point of view, over time. His distinctive sound embraces multiple eras and genres, including pop, rock folk and jazz, in which he is well-versed. In total, it owes as much to contemporary music’s singer-songwriter movement, encompassing his longtime friends and collaborators Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, as to the spirit of blues godfather Robert Johnson that dwells in his work. For Keb’ Mo’, the common bond between these influences is the underlying storytelling ethic, the power of song to convey human experience and emotional weight.

Mo’ has been awarded three Grammy Awards (Best Contemporary Blues Album – 1997, 1999 and 2005) and has been nominated four times (three times for Best Contemporary Blues  Album and once for Country Song of the Year).

Keb’ Mo’ and his band will take the stage at the Four Corners Folk Festival on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

 Keb’ will be in good company with this year’s amazingly deep musical lineup featuring Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster; folk rock superstar Jackie Greene; newgrass all-stars The Infamous Stringdusters; the acoustic supergroup Punch Brothers; acclaimed Austin singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave; rockabilly monster Cousin Harley; festival favorites Anne and Pete Sibley, plus up and coming talented ensembles including Chatham County Line, Joy Kills Sorrow, The Black Lillies and Caravan of Thieves.

 Early Bird specially priced tickets are available through April 30 by phone at (877) 472-4672 or online at www.folkwest.com. This event is family-friendly, with free admission for children 12 and under and free activities and programs for children at the festival.

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