Growing up listening to her mother sing was the inspiration Kelly found to become a songwriter. Her first memory of music was her mother's voice as she sang along with records late at night. A single mother of five living with hardship and pain, music was her mother's salvation. In her teens Kelly dealt with what she felt and saw in others by writing songs about it. She wrote songs of disappointment, pain, loss, loneliness and so much more but always of survival which was something her mom taught her to do no matter what. In 1995, performing her original songs on stage with a band sparked a passion and soon thereafter created a strong songwriting team of Kelly Z and her guitar player, Perry Robertson. Writing alone or with Perry, Kelly uses music to help ease the sorrows of the life she sees around her, to stay strong and to find a way to understand a life that sometimes makes no sense. Kelly’s songs always make her listeners smile as they find a way to understand their own struggles through her lyrics and music.
Original Americana and Blues by songwriters Kelly Z and Perry Robertson
The band was formed in 1995 by Kelly, a folk singer with a heart for southern rock and blues. Kelly was always a late bloomer and music was no exception. "With age comes fearless confidence or maybe it was a little bit of 'life is too short'". "Test Drive" gave the band its first official release. Through the first 10 years they recorded 3 LIVE CDs , 'Live at The Troubadour'. 'Stop And Make A Difference' and 'Trio', headlined local festivals, toured regionally and embarked on 2 national tours. Many radio stations, have played their CDs including their 7 song EP 'Come To This' which was recorded to showcase the band's journey towards more blues. Playing for charity became a norm for the band starting in 1999 after Kelly realized that music and giving was a good match. It gave Kelly the inspiration to perform and write more. Kelly’s Lot has been featured on many media outlets for the music and charity work the band has embraced. Some of the appearances include ABC Perspectives, Channel 4 in Milwaukee, Rock City News, LA Times, Pasadena Weekly, Independent Songwriter Magazine, Mixdown Magazine, The Debra Duncan Show, Good Morning Texas, The Gordon Keith show and Fox TV Houston to name a few. In 2008 'The Light' was released which showcased most of the styles the band is known for. Their next release in 2009, Pastrami and Jam, included a list of covers the band enjoys playing. It was never meant to be a CD, just a casual band get together to help a friend. But the magic spoke for itself and a CD was made. Recently they have opened for Tommy Castro, Shemekia Copeland, Marcia Ball, John Mayall, Curtis Salgado and have hosted blues events for charities and for fellow blues musicians. With the support of European fans, the band toured across Belgium, France, Germany, England, Scotland, and The Netherlands. In 2011 they released a live CD from Brussels, BE. 'Live in Brussels' which was released both in Belgium and The USA. 'Plain Simple Me' came next and brings the listener back to the roots of this band, when Kelly was playing solo shows as a singer/songwriter. Kelly and Perry performed as a duo in The UK in late 2013. Perry and Kelly joined French artist Jeff Toto Blues to create a blues trio for 2 successful tours in 2013 and 2014. Their latest CD was recorded and released with a horn section and keys. 'Don't Give My Blues Away' is now available on the site, iTunes and Amazon. The full band is Kelly Zirbes on vocals, Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca on guitars, Matt McFadden on bass, Sebastian Sheehan on drums, Bill Johnston on Sax, Dave Welch on Trumpet, Bobby Orgel on keys and Frank Hinojosa on Harp. Guest artists Teresa James, Robert Dill and Fred Mandel lend their musical genius on the latest recording with Perry Robertson, Bill Johnston and Scotty Lund producing. Kelly is currently writing many more songs including a new blues album while releasing a brand new Roots CD, 'Bittersweet', in January 2017. 'The Lot' will join Kelly on more gigs in Southern California including The Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival while the DUO plans more acoustic gigs. Kelly's Lot will be back in Europe in the Summer of 2017 with a new agent taking them to the next level.