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Keb’ Mo’ with special guest Allison Russell

July 22 | 8:00 pm

Photo credit: Tony Duran

A Schaefer Popular Series Event

Series Sponsorship provided by Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer.
Performance Sponsorship provided by Explore Boone, Mast General Store, Goodnight Brothers,
SkyBest Communications, Inc., University Bookstore, and Appalachian Home Care LLC.

American blues musician (singer-guitarist-songwriter) Keb’ Mo’ has five Grammy Awards, 14 Blues Foundation Awards, a 2021 Americana Music Association award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance, and a groundbreaking career spanning nearly 50 years under his belt.

Born in Montreal, Allison Russell is a poet, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and activist. Allison won Album of the Year at the 2022 Americana Music Association Awards and has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, and two Juno Awards.


LOCATION: Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers St., Boone, NC 28608

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at theschaefercenter@appstate.edu or call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046.


Standard Tier 1: $60
Standard Tier 2: $50
Standard Tier 3: $40
Students: $25 (limited availability)

Saturday, July 22, 2023 | 8pm
Doors open at 7pm

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.


With five Grammy Awards, 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.

Written partially in his adopted hometown of Nashville and partially in the Compton house he grew up in, Keb’ Mo’s captivating new album, Good to Be, is a celebration of roots and resilience, of growth and gratitude, of hope and memory. The songs here manage to tie the two cities together, drawing on country, soul, and blues to weave a heartwarming tapestry that transcends genre and geography and spans more than 40 years of sonic evolution. Though Keb’ worked with a wide variety of collaborators on the project (including Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Kristin Chenoweth, and Old Crow Medicine Show), it remains a deeply cohesive work, one anchored by the five-time Grammy Award winner’s magnetic vocal delivery and relentless optimism. “It’s good to be here / It’s good to be anywhere,” Keb’ sings with an audible smile. “It’s good to be back / Good to be home again.”

photo credit: Jeremy Cowart


Born in Montreal, Allison Russell — four-time Grammy-nominated poet, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist and co-founder of Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah) and Birds of Chicago (with JT Nero) — is a multi-faceted tour de force.

In her critically acclaimed debut album, Outside Child, she unpacks her youth through stories of deliverance and redemption, detailing the places, people, and realizations that helped her survive and claim her freedom.

Hailed as one of 2021’s best albums by a broad cross-section of the nation’s critics, the album continues to garner accolades and awards from many of music’s most prestigious outlets. “It’s an album of strength and affirmation, not victimization,” said The New York Times in their profile on Russell, ranking Outside Child #2 on their list of the Best Albums of 2021. 

Outside Child received three Grammy Award nominations in the Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Performance, and Best American Roots Song categories. In addition, Russell was awarded Album of the Year at the 2022 Americana Music Association Awards, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Polaris Music Prize, and two Juno Awards. Russell is the first Black artist to ever win a Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in Juno history. In 2023, she was nominated for an additional Grammy Award for her collaboration with Aiofe O’Donovan. 

Alongside the Rainbow Coalition Band — a talented ensemble of BIack and POC, queer, and historically marginalized musicians from across the U.S. — Russell uses the power of music in order to spread her message of the “Beloved Community” and is dedicated to lifting others upwards as her own star climbs higher.

In her own words: “We are more than the sum of our scars. We are the dust of the stars, the bones of the Earth, the breath of the void, the expanse of our imaginations, the arc of art, the love in our hearts. We lift each other up. We are the ‘Beloved Community’ every time we choose to be. None above, none below, all are equal under the listening sky.”

Russell is slated to release new music later this year and an autobiographical memoir in 2024.


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July 22
8:00 pm
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