Kelly Z and "the Lot"

Blues Bytes

RESCUE - While you may not know who Kelly Z is, if you’re a blues fan you are more than likely familiar with Kelly’s Lot, which was founded in the mid ’90s by Kelly Zirbes (a.k.a. Kelly Z). The L.A.-based Kelly’s Lot has released 11 albums and has toured nationally and internationally, and the band’s Live In Brussels set was reviewed in the March, 2014 edition of Blues Bytes. Zirbes began recording a solo album of ’60s-era rock, funk, and R&B classics in 2011 with producer Chuck Kavooras at Slide Away Studios, but the project was never completed. 

When Zirbes and Kavooras started discussing another project recently, Kavooras happened to remember the eight tracks completed in 2011 and played them for Zirbes. Both decided that the songs were too good to sit on the shelf and decided to finish the project, now entitled Rescue, and featuring a full horn section, a core band of Rick Reed (bass), John Marx (guitar), Bryan Head (drums), and Mo Beeks (keys), and special guest vocalists Teresa James, Shari Puorto, and Lisa Orloff Staley.

Kelly Z’s vocals pack a punch, equal doses blues, soul, and rock n’ roll, and she just rips through these eight songs, from the James Brown funk workout that kicks off the album, “What Do I Have To Do”) to a tender, but tough reading of the Burt Bacharach standard, “Baby It’s You,” to Michael Bloomfield’s splendid slow blues “You Don’t Realize,” to a pair of tunes associated with Tina Turner – “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” (with guitarist Perry Robinson in the “Ike” role) and the rocker “Trying To Find My Mind.”
Both Patsy Cline and Candi Staton had success with Harlan Howard’s “He Called Me Baby,” and Kelly Z’s sensitive version is closer to Staton’s, and her version of Isaac Hayes’ “Do Your Thing” is certain to get pulses racing and temperatures rising. The closer is pretty interesting, too --- the Governor Jimmie Davis hit “You Are My Sunshine,” redesigned as a thundering funk workout.

Thank goodness Kelly Z and Chuck Kavooras managed to rescue this stellar eight-song set for public consumption. Ms. Zirbes is always a pleasure to hear and she does a wonderful job with these tunes. Hopefully, the two will still work on another project in the near future.--- Graham Clarke

La Hora Del Blues

RESCUE  - The eight songs included in this album were recorded in 2011 by Kelly Z, with the valuable supervision of respected producer Chuck Kavooras. For different circumstances the recordings were not published and remained stored on a box. Recently, Kelly asked Chuck to work together on a new project. Chuck thought about those songs, so they decided to rescue them for this new album. Eight tracks that are closer to 60’s funk, rock and rhythm and blues, where Kelly shows she is a remarkable daring energetic singer who sometimes has been compared with singers like Lydia Pence, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner and Irma Thomas. The album was recorded in analogical system to get a vintage sound and counted with the collaboration of a good horn section as well as a handful of guest musicians in some cuts. All songs communicate a daring strong power and, in Kelly’s case, the recording gives her credit enough to consolidate herself as a new value of independent black music scene. VERY GOOD.

Blues In The South

Kelly Z Rescue Independent - Kelly Zirbes was two years old when her mother moved the family of five from Minneapolis to San Gabriel, California, near Pasadena. At the age of six Kelly was writing poetry and she was given her first guitar aged twelve. Her memories of hearing her mother singing along with the music on the radio inspired Kelly to a life of performing, the music being her mother’s only salvation in the face of the trials and tribulations of bringing-up her family single handedly. Throughout her teenage years Kelly translated any feelings of disappointment and hardship into the inspiration for her music. Kelly and her band Kelly’s Lot, have been playing and recording in and around the Los Angeles area since the mid-nineties and to this date have recorded eleven albums. This particular album was embarked upon in two thousand and eleven with Chuck Kavooras in the producers’ chair, although the basic tracks were recorded, the album was never actually finished, now it is here for your delectation. The eight numbers range from pulsating funksters to slow burn soul gems. Joining Kelly, who takes lead vocals are; John Marx; guitar, Rick Reed; bass, Bryan Head; drums, Mo Beeks; keyboards. The horns are supplied by Andy Najera on saxophone and Stan Martin and Roy Wiegand on trumpet. The original tongue-in cheek approach of Ike & Tina Turners “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, is enjoyably present while Teresa James, Shari Puorto and Lisa Orloff Staley prove to be rather splendid present day Ikettes, the seventies boogieing Ike and Tina number “Trying To Find My Mind”, is given added oomph by Chuck who adds a rather nice slide to the proceedings. On Jimmy Davis’s “You Are My Sunshine”, Kelly provides a rather enticing predatory soul feel with the ever present pummeling drums, while the rising horns completely surround you. Marva Whitney’s “What Do I Have To Do”, unleashes Kelly’s raw powerhouse vocals while the bracing brass and rhythm section foot-tappingly steam along with her. Kelly changes the mood somewhat with The Shirelles’s “Baby It’s You”, this is rather pleasingly saturated in a deep soul feel. Mike Bloomfield’s “You Don’t Realise”, is a stunning slow burner, from the ever woeful rising horns to the intimate B3 from Barry Goldberg, Kelly’s emotion filled resonating voice is simply the icing on the cake.

Greatly endorsed!   Brian Harman.

Big City Blues magazine

Kelly Z At SlideAway Studio

Singer/songwriter Kelly Z and her band have been an L.A. mainstay for more than twenty years. She was looking for a new project when her producer, Chuck Kavooras, rediscovered these tracks that he’d recorded in 2011 but never finished. He brought them to Kelly and they realized the songs were too good to sit in a box and decided to “Rescue” them. These are all cover tunes so too were they rescuing the songs themselves from the abyss of forgotten tunes, or rescuing the performances from that bin. This killer band is Kelly “Z” Zirbes vocals, John Marx guitar, Mo Beeks keyboards, Rick Reed bass, Bryan Head drums, Andy Najera sax, Stan Martin trumpet, a trio of her L.A. soul sisters on backing vocals: Teresa James, Shari Puorto and Lisa Orloff Staley, with a few other guest players. Each song is its own surprise as you realize you know that song and wonder who did it first.
Ripping in with a roar of funk on James Brown & Marva Whitney’s “What Do I Have To Do” Miss Z just has to do the do and stay on the good foot too as the horns and organ wail behind the girls. Mellowing with the Bacharach / David “Baby It’s You” a hit for the Shirelles but covered by the Beatles, the hesitant rhythm and the quiver in Kelly’s voice adds to the anticipation till she breaks through in full voice. “You Don’t Realize,” a Mike Bloomfield tune from the Electric Flag, which carried the note “Dedicated with great respect to Steve Cropper and Otis Redding” on the original was sung by Buddy Miles and Kelly tries a little tenderness and has Barry Goldberg from the Flag playing B3 organ. Two Ike & Tina Turner tunes “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” featuring male vocals by her songwriting partner Perry Robertson and “Trying To Find My Mind” with Chuck Kavooras adding a killer slide guitar. “He Called Me Baby” was originally sung by Patsy Cline in 1963 but here Kelly’s strong soulful take is closer to the cover by Candi Staton done in 1971. “Do Your Thing” written and performed by Isaac Hayes before he hit his Hot Buttered Soul era, shortened from its original nineteen minute length that has a restrained tension giving it an extra edge. The biggest surprise is a classic country tune “You Are My Sunshine” first released by the Pine Ridge Boys in 1939 reinvented as a soul ballad with hard rocking horns as Kelly’s vocal soars through like a breaking dawn.
Kelly Z is calling her new disc a “Rescue” but it sounds as fresh as anything out today which may be it’s real redemption.—Roger and Margaret White


Kelly Z’s solo album, “Rescue,” is a collection of 60’s Funk, Rock and R&B produced, mixed and recorded by the acclaimed Chuck Kavooras. The eight tracks of inspired cover songs were recorded in 2011, but because of a set of fortunate and unfortunate events, never completed. When Chuck and Kelly Zirbes started talking about doing another project together, Chuck remembered the abandoned tracks and played them for Kelly. Both decided they were just too good to sit in a box, where no one would hear the power of these songs and skillful effort of the musicians. Kelly was brought in to sing on the tracks and finish the project. The whole album was recorded on analog at Slide Away Studios, recreating that big vintage sound, and featuring a full horn section, special guests – Teresa James, Shari Puorto & Lisa Orloff Staley – and the core studio band of Rick Reed, Bryan Head, John Marx, and Mo Beeks.

Kelly’s powerhouse rough and ready vocals draw instant comparisons to fellow blues belters, Lydia Pence, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner and Irma Thomas. She rips out the scorching plea, ‘What Do I Have To Do,’ on the James Brown funk and fury opener, then dials it back for the smoldering soul of ‘Baby It’s You,’ and digs deep into her emotional tool kit for the slow blues ‘You Don’t Realize.’ Guitarist Perry Robertson plays Kelly’s foil on the Ike and Tina standard from 1963 ‘It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,’ complete with “Ikette” backups from Teresa, Shari & Lisa. Kavooras himself adds greasy slide guitar to the swamp rocker ‘Trying To Find My Mind.’ Soul classic ‘He Called Me Baby’ is given a tender but robust treatment and you can sink your teeth into the sexy groove of Isaac Hayes’ ‘Do Your Thing.’ The folk chestnut, ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ is given the full “Funky Broadway” treatment of a thundering jungle beat and blazing horn jabs to bolster Kelly’s steamy vocals. This collection was so worth every effort needed to complete the “Rescue.”

BMan's Blues Report

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Rescue, from Kelly Z and it's quite enjoyable. Opening with James Brown's What Do I Have To Do, Kelly Z has that driving sound, backed by Teresa James, Shari Puorto and Lisa Orloff Staley on vocal, Rick Reed on bass, John Marx on guitar, and Bryan Head on drums. Mo Beeks really ramps in up with some super keyboard work and the horn section featuring Andy Najira on sax and Stan Martin on trumpet pump up the sound. On The Shirelles' Baby It's You, Kelly shines with only minor changes from the original arrangement one upped by nice trumpet work by martin and guitar soloing by Perry Robertson. Mike Bloomfield's ballad, You Don't Realize has a solid feel, backed by Barry Goldberg on B3 and Roy Weigand on trumpet. Very nice. Tina Turner's high energy Trying To Find My Mind is up next with sassy vocals and featuring Chuck Kavooras on slide. Isaac Hayes' Do Your Thing is my favorite track on the release with a dynamo bass groove by Reed and a slinky guitar solo by Marx. Very cool! Wrapping the release is Jimmie Davis' You Are My Sunshine. This track is almost unrecognizable as the tune we've all heard as children due to it's pumped up horn lines, heavy tom tom and R&B feel. Very smooth closer for a cool release.  

Flying Shoes Review

This album was originally begun in 2011, when singer Kelly Zirbes laid down – but didn’t finish – these eight tracks of classic-sounding 60s soul and funk for producer Chuck Kavooras in Los Angeles. When Chuck and Kelly began discussing a new project, they decided to finish off the tapes and this CD is the result. Kelly’s powerhouse soul shouting is obvious from the outset on Marva Whitney’s funk-filled ‘What Do I Have To Do’, though the tempo slows for a deep soul flavoured version of The Shirelles ‘Baby It’s You’, and even more so for the slow-burn of Mike Bloomfield’s 6/8/ soul ballad ‘You Don’t Realize’ (and it even has Barry Goldberg on organ). Ike & Tina’s ‘It’s Gonna Work Out Fine’ keeps the soul and humour of the 1961 original (nice Ikettes sound too from Teresa James, Shari Puorto and Lisa Orloff Staley). Ike & Tina’s 70s rock ‘n’ soul sound is evoked on the chugging ‘Trying To Find My Mind’, with excellent slide guitar work by Chuck himself, and Ella Washington’s/ Candi Staton’s cover of Harlan Howard’s country hit ‘He Called Me Baby’ is given a superlative treatment. Different in style but still worthy of that description is also Isaac Hayes’ slow but funky number ‘Do Your Thing’, before Kelly closes out this excellent soul set with ‘You Are My Sunshine’ - though Jimmy Davis might not recognise it as such, Aretha Franklin certainly would.


Blues Again

Kelly Z (Z for Zirbes) has already recorded a dozen albums with her group Kelly's Lot and in a discussion with the engineer, producer, Chuck Kavooras they have agreed to work together. It turns out that Chuck had recordings in his drawers dating back to 2011, which required only one voice to be finalized. Listening to them, Kelly was immediately excited. Tope, we work together! Hence the title: Rescue. The eight songs of this album are covers of sixties signed by some icons of R & B, rock and funk. Here are a few. James Brown's 'What Do I Have To Do', actually in this title, is an incendiary bomb, especially for the chorus, Teresa James, Shari Puerto and Lisa Orloff Staley, plus a very dynamic brass section. . 'Baby It's You' by Burt Bacharach still in a R & B register but more posed, less hysterical with the voice torn miss Z, it does too. Michael Bloomfield's 'You Do not Realize' calms the game but still remains intense thanks to the singer's voice. Tina Turner's 'Trying To Find My Mind' keeps all its energy with the addition of a slide held by Chuck Kavooras. 'You Are My Sunshine' by Jimmie Davis has been greatly dusted off and this release gives her a new light adorned with sparkling brass and a vibrant voice of emotion. 'Do Your Thing' by Isaac Hayes highlights the quality of musicians with his swaying funk. John Marx on guitar, Rick Reed on bass, Bryan Head on drums and drums, and Mo Beeks on keyboards. I would have listened to two or three more songs, but ... there were only eight titles to save in the drawer.


Present on the international scene since the mid-90s, Kelly Zirbes and her group Kelly's Lot have recorded no less than eleven albums and managed to build a fanbase around the planet with shows in which we discover treasures of rhythm 'blues in 60's sauce with lots of soul, funk and rock. By recording three live albums during his first ten years of existence, the Los Angeles combo has established itself as a stage band and it is with his reputation that he returns this year with behind his singer no less than John Marx on guitars, Rick Reed on bass, Mo Beeks on keyboards, Bryan Head on drums, Andy Najera on sax and Stan Martin on trumpet. Joined on "Rescue" by various guests, Kelly Z does not clutter with frills and delivers us a R & B of the most sensual with its full brass parts and vocal harmonies pushed to their limits, the all supported by a perfectly perfect rhythm. Bringing together covers of artists like James Brown, Tina Turner, Isaac Hayes and many others, this new puck strives to raise the pieces up to summits that seem inaccessible and it is strong of a energy of every moment, immeasurable talent and a great desire to turn everything in its path that Kelly Z serves us on the fly crackeries in the genre of "What Do I Have To Do", "You Do not Realize "," Trying To Find My Mind "," Do Your Thing "or" You Are My Sunshine ". Appreciated throughout Europe since his album "Live in Brussels" in 2011, it's a safe bet that Kelly Z will return very quickly in countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany or France. We cross fingers …

Midwest Record

KELLY Z/Rescue: A real belter of a set from our kind of all night gal, this white girl with the blues might serve up a set of covers but she knows how to make them all her own. Not too shabby when she's covering Tina Turner, Isaac Hayes and James Brown among others. Smoking southern soul/R&B, this is a sure fire party on a platter that rocks the joint all night long.

Nashville Blues Society





As one listens to Kelly Z (Zirbes) sing, you are immediately taken in by a woman with the vocal power of Ann Wilson, coupled with the soulfulness of Sharon Jones and Bonnie Bramlett.  She sho’ nuff brings the heat to the eight fun(k)-filled covers that comprise “Rescue.”  This one was produced by Chuck Kavooras at his SlideAway Studio, and she strikes an even balance of dance-floor favorites with smoldering ballads made popular  by some of the most famous names in blues and R & B.  A full horn section gives everything a good-time feel, with Kelly’s voice at the forefront.

The set kicks off burnin’ hi-test gas, with the funk of Kelly’s read of the Godfather Of Soul’s “What Do I Have To Do to prove my love to you?”  Next up, the first thing you hear is that unmistakable riff that kicks off the Shirelles’ “Baby, It’s You,” with Kelly’s vocal staying true to the original.  Guitar man Perry Robertson is the Ike to Kelly’s Tina on the loping groove of lovers in love, “I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” while she sets up a smoky, smoldering groove on one of Harlan Howard’s best, “He Called Me Baby, baby all night long,”  The set closes on a funky-to-the-max note, with a scalding take on former Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis’ immortal “You Are My Sunshine,” with this one reminding us of that deep-soul feeling Brother Ray achieved with his version.

We had two favorites, too.  The horn section, over Kelly’s passionate vocal, makes Mike Bloomfield’s “You Don’t Realize,” sound like a long-lost gem from Otis Redding.  Producer Kavooras also adds slide to the pulsating beat of a tune that has a psychedelic, rump-shaking Sixties feel, Kelly’s blistering read of Annie Mae Bullock’s  “Trying To Find My Mind,” recalling her Acid Queen performance from “Tommy.”

These cuts were recorded in 2011, but never really completed.  When Kelly approached Chuck about doing a new project, they both agreed these cuts were too good not to be heard.  So,fans like us are the real winners, as they dutifully came to the “Rescue” of these scintillating grooves!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.


PBS 106.7

*** KELLY Z "Rescue" - Peter Merrett, PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia

*** Track 1. - "What Do I Have To Do" Written by James Brown & Marva Whitney.

Big bold brassy intro that showcases Kelly's amazing soul drenched voice. Energetic and gritty power driven interpretation with an attitude that makes a powerful statement. Mo Beeks riffs all over this one and man it sounds so very right as this band just nails it. Tight as can be with an in your face attitude the band are fearless in their attack on this song. All in all this will make anybody sit up and take attention. Wow you have me in the palm of your hand Ms. Kelly Z.


*** Track 2. - "Baby It's You" Written by Burt Bacharach, Mack David & Barney Williams.

Soulful ballad that again showcases Kelly's voice in a moody sensual tone that is drenched with emotion and pathos. Heavy drumming from Head drives the sound but the omnipresent brass fills the background along with Marx's stinging guitar. Kelly certainly knows how to get the very best out of her amazing voice and this ballad displays perfectly just how good a singer she is and one that most certainly commands attention. 


*** Track 3. - "You Don't Realize" Written by Michael Bloomfield.

When l saw this Electric Flag song on the playlist l was quite surprised as it was a Blues ballad from the pen of Bloomfield from 1968. That is until l heard Kelly Z sing it, wow what a revelation! She conjured up images of Janis Joplin in my mind with her phrasing and tonality. The performance here is epic and one that is simply breathtaking. The orchestration is also sublime and the charts are to die for as they are so very sympathetic to the sheer majesty of the pathos of the lyrics and vocals. There is so much that can be said about this song but l don't have the words due to the sheer beauty that has unfolded around me. This is a piece of musical genius and l can only say bravo!


*** Track 4. - "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" Written by Rose Marie McCoy.

Originally a hit for the love hate coupling of Ike and Tina Turner here Kelly really makes the song hers. Guitarist Perry Robertson plays the foil to Kelly as James, Puorto and Staley provide the wonderful backing vocals. This is another great example of the versatility of just how great a voice Kelly has as she easily adapts to each and every song style. This certainly is a smile inducing feel good song and that it does so very well. I think everybody listening will be singing along as it is such a well known classic but then realise just how wonderful this version is and just how memorable it is. Heh l really dig it.


*** Track 5. - "Trying To Find My Mind" Written by Tina Turner.

If you are going to sing a Tina Turner penned song then it is very hard not to sing with the same intensity and Kelly Z can do so very easily. To add to the gritty sound Kavooras provides the down and dirty swampy guitar. Strong percussion from the rhythm section certainly drive this one along with a unrelenting beat that has a take no prisoners feel about it. If you like a growl and howl with your vocals and a lady who doesn't hold back then you are listening to the right lady with Kelly Z.


*** Track 6. - "He Called Me Baby" Written by Marion Howard.

This was a hit for Candi Staton but on listening to this recording one could easily assume that Howard had written it expressly for Kelly Z. The passion she puts into every lyric is palpable. Such a beautiful song sung with complete conviction that raises the song to dizzying heights of grandeur. Again Mo Beeks is sublime with this magnificent band. If ever a song was mean't to be sung by a singer then here we have the perfect coupling as this is a flawless rendition that has given me goose bumps. Throughout the perfection grows and grows as does the emotion within the listener. There is no way that this track can be improved and we are so very privileged to be able to hear it.


*** Track 7. - "Do Your Thing" Written By Issac Hayes.

Heavily groove laden song from one of the coolest singers ever in Issac Hayes. Kelly Z steps into a whole different world as she lays down some honey drenched vocals. Not only does she nail it but she redefines the song as her own. Not an easy thing to do but with such a distinctive evocative versatile voice anything is possible. Sexy and sassy comes to mind as she channels a time of Afro hair do's and flaired pants perfectly. Marx provides the exquisite understated guitar as the rhythm section certainly drive the sound along once again. Now this is how you pay homage to Issac Hayes.


*** Track 8. - "You Are My Sunshine " Written by Jimmie Davis.

Wow now this is a surprise for sure, such a song out of left field. Kelly Z you are no conformist and l for one are very grateful for that as you are fearless and so very creative. This is one brilliant interpretation of the song that has made it so very modern and pertinent to today. Powerful gutsy sound with a definite jungle beat for good measure with pounding horns and rhythm section. Kelly's vocals are gritty and firm as she states her case throughout leaving nothing to the imagination as to just what she means. Now this is how you can take the past and bring it into the present for the future without destroying the essence of the song. What an amazing recording it is and a standout. I think Mr. Davis would approve, most likely thinking why didn't he do that arrangement.


Kelly Z what a revelation you are. WOW, wow, wow! What a voice and what you can do with it is absolutely amazing. You must be a time traveler as you surely have come directly from the sixties with a feel for the music you presented on this album. You just don't just look at a list of songs from the 60's and 70's and say okay l'll sing those. It takes a inner understanding of the times and a voice to match to do so. You have both in abundance. You should be on everybody's lips what with your obvious talents. Each and every track had me gob smacked with your interpretations as you just get better and better with each and every song. As soon as l found my favorite l found a new one and that had me going back and replaying the album to make up my mind but after that many listens l decided "shoot they're all my favorite" and that's that. Congratulations Kelly Z to you, your band and all of the production crew as this is one seriously good album and one l predict should get you some serious airplay. Albums this good rarely come along and when they do it certainly makes this old curmudgeon feel very good indeed.

Peter Merrett, PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia       


* Label: Self.

* Kelly Z (Zirbes): Lead Vocals.

* Bryan Head: Drums & Percussion.

* Rick Reed: Bass.

* John Marx: Guitar.

* Mo Beeks: Keyboards.

* Andy Najera: Sax.

* Stan Martin: Trumpet.

* Roy Wiegand: Trumpet on track 3.

* Barry Goldberg: Hammond B3 on track 3.

* Chuck Kavooras: Slide Guitar on track 5.

* Perry Robertson: Solo Guitar on track 2. Vocal on track 4.

* Teresa James, Shari Puorto and Lisa Orloff Staley: Background Vocals.


Jukebox Flash

With the album release Bittersweet the singer / songwriter Kelly Zirbes returns together with her band KELLY'S LOT back to their musical roots. The artist, who is living in Los Angeles, has written 14 new songs with which she covers the entire range of roots and folkthrough blues rock and singer / songwriter up to Americana Country in a skilful way. There is a lot of care for variety. The pleasure ofcomposing is perceptible in every single song. Kelly tells her own telling stories and gives the listener entrance into their emotional worlds. The current disc rightly considers it one of their strongest throws. With this CD, the band simply sets the bar high. A perfect, round story.

Doherty's Music Log

.....Bittersweet opens with "About Her," which begins with percussion, and there is a brief moment at the beginning that makes me think of Los Lobos' "Kiko And The Lavender Moon." It's a cool tune, with an interesting vibe, and it features some wonderful work by Bill Johnston on clarinet. Yes, it's quite a bit different from earlier work by this band, but the blues are still present in Kelly's vocals. Here is a taste of the lyrics: "She understood your emotions/And gave you the key to your heart/She did something to you/That was warm and true/Don't let it fall apart/You got to do the right thing." That's followed by one of my personal favorites, "Come Home," a sweet, pretty, and incredibly moving folk song. Here Kelly's voice has a delicate power, vulnerable and passionate. She is accompanied only by Perry Robertson on guitar, which helps give the song an intimate feel. "No walls can hold me like your arms/No light to start my day/No answer will bring me peace/I cannot see the way/So come home to me/Come home." I highly recommend checking out this song, and that you listen to it without distractions......  MORE at

The Next Gig

Ventura County Star

Jazz weekly

Jazz Weekly

...For the Sunday show, opening was a group I’d never heard of before, Kelly’s Lot. Lead by the gloriously rough and ready vocals of Kelly Z, the band included a swinging horn section, deeply grooved rhythm team and a two guitar set of slingers of Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca. The band performed sizzling and stomping originals, coming across like the best alternative to Tedeschi-Trucks with a dash of Bonnie Raitt, with Kelly Z using delivery, power and timing like Mariano Rivera as she belted out the blues served on a dry rub platter. YUM!...

The Montaineer Progress

Blues In The South - Interview of Kelly - Pages 7-11 Click Here.

LA Montagne

Blues Blast Magazine

Kelly’s Lot – Don’t Give My Blues Away

Styles: R&B, Jazz-and-Soul-Influenced Blues

What do Taylor Swift, Adele, Madonna, and Southern California native Kelly Zirbes, of the band Kelly’s Lot, have in common? They’re all female dynamo singers who are the main showcases of their respective bands. In time, these first three have ascended the pop charts to become some of the country’s best household names. Hopefully the fourth will as well, in the dual arenas of R&B and straight blues. Kelly and her Lot have a great horn section, and twelve original songs, on their new CD Don’t Give My Blues Away. Those searching for sizzling saxophone and tasty trumpet will definitely find it here, but the guitar work is slightly less noticeable. This is a lighthearted party album, featuring Kelly’s good-natured vocals with a sharp-edged kick. The three tunes below are the most danceable, whether fast or slow.

Kelly’s Lot consists of Kelly Zirbes as the lead chanteuse, guitarists Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca, bassist Matt McFadden, drummer Robert Dill, Bill Johnston on saxophone, Dave Welch on trumpet, pianist Teresa James, and Fred Mandel on B3 organ. All of the album’s selections were written by Zirbes and Perry Robertson, except “Woman’s Love” which was co-written by Kelly and Rob Zucca. Each track is played with a nice balance of energy and musical technique.

Track 01: “Hush Up” – This CD’s opening number contains its title, belted out at the beginning. Listeners might be tempted to forget the real name of “Hush Up”, but that’s a minor risk. What do people do when their lovers start blabbing relationship secrets to everyone around? One solution is to give the gossip-mongers an ultimatum: “When I get lonely, you’re all that I need. When I get those feelings, I’ll come clean. When I get down, I always get up. I think it’s time for you to hush up….” The Lot’s instrumentation is in top form, especially the horns and bass beat.

Track 04: “Woman’s Love” – This is one song in which Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca’s guitar work is simply brilliant. Electric shredders don’t always have to scream in order to be effective. Sometimes soft strumming and notes that fall like snowflakes are far better mood-setters. “Can you hear me? Can you feel me?” cries Kelly in equal parts desire and frustration.

Track 06: “Right Now” – With a tempo as urgent as its title, track six is a rollicking blues rocker. Love can’t wait, and neither can our narrator: “Tonight, I’m going to open up my soul. Tonight, I’m going to let everybody know that nothing’s going to make me turn around and go.” This the perfect tune to play if you’re in a hurry to get to a swinging celebration, if not on one’s morning commute. Check out the killer guitar solo in the middle.

Kelly’s Lot sure has a lot to give to the R&B world in 2015!


Midi Libre

Google Translate for English  - click Link for French.

Kelly's Lot came a recital in the multipurpose room of Langogne, this Friday night, at the invitation of the team Virades of Hope, accompanied by his group including an old acquaintance Langonais of Jean François Thomas, alias Jeff Toto Blues, songwriter and guitarist singer who sang some of his latest songs 'I have not been able to do all the time' and 'California' in tribute to him and his singing tour with Kelly in the US
Needless to say, the lovers of Rock and Blues were the angels, spoiled by a true Rock Star, Kelly's Lot, which truly lives his music and sends a loud and inspired voice, powerful and mesmerizing, sharing with his musicians and the audience The words and music of his songs, but also the amazing riffs and solos of Jeff Toto, like those of the other guitarist Perry, as good as Roger Waters, the flights of virtuoso pianist, plus Matt on bass and Martial on drums, particularly complicit with the whole band, despite his first concert with Kelly!
When Kelly began the first notes of 'Penitentiary', the famous tube of Animals', Jeff Toto met during his American tour, the audience replied in chorus with warm enthusiasm, and it lasted three hours of the concert, which in originally was to end an hour earlier. But Kelly is as generous as talented, as she made the pleasure last, with songs accompanied by voice and gesture by Langonais including 'Boom, boom, boom', or 'the light' or 'Reason for the Blues 'and ended with' Happy Girl ', a song that suits him like a glove! The audience gave him a final ovation and do not miss an opportunity to follow all his tours through Europe. The Langonais were very lucky!


"Kelly’s Lot are singer/songwriter Kelly Zirbes, songwriters and guitarists Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca, bass player Matt McFadden, drummer Robert Dill, Bill Johnston on saxophone, Dave Welch on trumpet, Teresa James on piano and Fred Mandel on B3. For their new album the North Hollywood based band recorded 11 original songs by Zirbes and Robertson and one by Zirbes and Zucca. Kelly starts with “Hush up”, an intoxicating Blues featuring great piano and horns playing, nice guitar solos and passionate singing. Together with Zucca she wrote “Woman’s love”, a hauntingly beautiful Blues ballad showcasing her powerful and soulful voice. “Right now” is an up-Beat Blues Soul with wah-wah guitar pace, a strong horns section and brilliant guitar solos, the Country Blues “Don’t miss love” doesn’t slow down, Country guitar joins in and the horns take a rest. Then the trumpet blows the entry to “Stateside”, an amazing cool and jazzy song with a breath-taking vocal performance, my favourite. Kelly’s hauntingly beautiful singing, horns, B3 and guitar enchant “That fool”, a slow shuffling Blues-rock and then they accelerate the pace for final Blues “Better way”, featuring some awesome solos on trumpet, guitar and bass. Kelly’s Lot are a bunch of brilliant musicians with an exceptional singer, they’re planning a tour in France in September, and hopefully they can add trips to the surrounding countries." 

BTS Reviews

Not Taking Her Blues Away 

Bruce Von Stiers 

You don't have to come from Memphis or the Mississippi delta or New Orleans to be a killer blues band. One of those blues bands hails from Southern California. Kelly Zirbe is a fantastic vocalist and her band is called Kelly's Lot. And the band has recently released their eleventh album, which is titled Don't Give My Blues Away

Kelly does the vocals for the album. Joining her is Bill Johnston on saxophone, Dave Welch on trumpet, Robert Dill on drums and Teresa James on piano. Fred Mandel plays the B3 and on guitars are Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca

The album was produced by Perry Robertson with co-producing credits going to Scotty Lund and Bill Johnston. Scotty and Perry did the album's engineering with Scotty doing the mixing. The album was mastered by Sonic Vision Mastering. Kelly and Perry wrote all but one song, which was written by Kelly and Rob Zucca. 

The album has some very cool blues tunes. Reason For The Blues is one such song. There is some pretty tough guitar and organ backing Kelly's terrific vocals. The horn music helps sell this as a slick blues piece. 

Revolving Door is an in-your-face song telling off a two-timing man to get it right or go away. The horn and guitar solos are great. 

Why Don't We is a tough bit that for some reason made me think of The Blues Brothers and Buddy Guy. 

Getting deep down into the aching blues feeling is Woman's Love. It has killer guitar to start out with. Then Kelly kicks in with vocals that are a bit bluesy and a bit torch singer. The killer guitar comes back strong during the middle of the song. 

Toe tapping music is found in Taking Time. I really liked the vocals in this one. 

Right Now had a tone that made me think of Stevie Ray Vaughn. It has slick guitar and horn that bracket too cool vocals by Kelly. 

Rolling back to some toe-tapping classic blues styling is Boom Boom Boom. You probably won't be able to sit still while listening to this one. 

Speeding things up a bit is Don't Miss Love. It has an almost honkey-tonk feel. 

Stateside has really good trumpet and drum as its intro. It's a light blues tune about wanting her military man to come back home. 

Later in the album is a hard hitting blues song called That Fool. Not only are the vocals great, the blues guitar is excellent and the horn and other music makes this really cool blues. 

Hush Up has lyrics that the album's title comes from. It is a toe-tapping song that tells him not to be telling people so much about her ups and downs. There is some great guitar in the middle. 

The album ends with the rollicking piece. Better Way

Don't Give My Blues Away is definitely an album that mixes classic blues with touch of R & B for a unique styling. While a few of the songs have that aching, torch singer vibe to them, most of the album has a lighter, somewhat party atmosphere to it. 

Kelly's Lot has just what it takes to become one of the top blues bands. I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more about the band in the near future. 

Don't Give My Blues Away is available on iTunes, and other online and traditional music retailers. 

Check out the Kelly's Lot official site for further details. The site can be found at You can also find the band on Facebook at