Kelly Z and "the Lot"

Midi Libre

Google Translate for English  

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 est venu donner un récital à la salle polyvalente de Langogne, ce vendredi soir, à l'invitation de l'équipe des Virades de l'Espoir, accompagnée par son groupe parmi lesquels une vieille connaissance des Langonais, Jean François Thomas, alias Jeff Toto Blues, chanteur compositeur et guitariste qui chanta quelques unes de ses dernières chansons ‘J'ai pas su le faire tout le temps', et ‘California', en hommage à sa rencontre et son tour de chant avec Kelly aux U.S.A.
Inutile de préciser que les amoureux du Rock et du Blues ont été aux anges, gâtés par une véritable Rock Star, Kelly's Lot, qui vit véritablement sa musique et envoie une voix tonitruante et inspirée, puissante et envoûtante, partageant avec ses musiciens et le public, les paroles et musiques de ses chansons, mais aussi les riffs et les solos époustouflants de Jeff Toto, tout comme ceux de l'autre guitariste, Perry, aussi doué que Roger Waters, les envolées du pianiste virtuose, sans oublier Matt à la basse, et Martial à la batterie, particulièrement complice avec toute la bande, malgré son premier concert avec Kelly !
Lorsque Kelly commença les premières notes du ‘Pénitencier', le célèbre tube des ‘Animals', que Jeff Toto rencontra lors de sa tournée Américaine, le public reprit en chœur avec un enthousiasme chaleureux, et cela dura les trois heures du concert, qui à l'origine, devait se terminer une heure plus tôt. Mais Kelly est aussi généreuse que talentueuse, aussi elle fit durer le plaisir, avec des chansons accompagnées de la voix et du geste par les Langonais, notamment ‘Boom, boom, boom', ou ‘the light', ou ‘Reason for the Blues', et termina par ‘Happy girl', une chanson qui lui sied comme un gant ! Le public lui fit une ovation finale et ne ratera pas une occasion de suivre toutes ses tournées à travers l'Europe. Les Langonais ont bien de la chance !

Folkworld

"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." 

La Hora Del Blues

Kelly's Lot is a unique singer who moves half way along Americana music, southern rock and rockin' roadhouse blues. Kelly formed her own band in 1995 and, since then on, she has not stopped to play with great commitment when she is on stage. She has a funny easy going style but, the most remarkable thing, is her extreme sincerity in front of her followers who regularly come to see her. Kelly communicates a great warm feeling that comes directly from her heart and she always delivers it to the countless fans, who respect and admire her. Music is much more than a hobby for Kelly, it is her life and source of inspiration to follow on with her daily struggle in the music business. Kelly's Lot shows a good degree of self-confidence when she calmly performs songs like "Woman's Love" or when she passionately attacks southern rock like in "Don't Miss Love". Besides Kelly Zirbes (which is her real name) on vocals, the rest of musicians are Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca guitars, Matt McFadden bass, Robert Dill drums, Bill Johnston sax, Dave Welch trumpet, Teresa James piano and Fred Mandel B-3. This is an album which brings a breath of fresh air to enjoy a more than a pleasant time. VERY GOOD.  

(Kelly’s Lot es una singular vocalista a medio camino entre la música Americana, el rock sureño y el rockin’ blues de bar de carretera. Kelly formó su propia banda en 1995 y desde entonces no ha parado de actuar, entregándose en cuerpo y alma cuando está encima de un escenario. Su sonido es optimista y divertido, pero sobre todo lo que más llama la atención es que ella se sincera con el público que asiduamente acude a escucharla. Kelly desprende feeling y una enorme calidez por ese gran corazón que entrega sin concesiones a su público del que se ha ganado su respeto y admiración. Para esta cantante la música es mucho mas que un pasatiempo, la música es vida y fuente de inspiración para seguir luchando día a día en este negocio. Kelly’s Lot denota una gran confianza en si misma cuando desgrana reposadamente canciones como “Woman’s Love” o ataca con vehemencia temas de rock sureño como es el caso de “Don’t Miss Love”. Además de Kelly Zirbes (que es su verdadero nombre) a la voz, en el disco se encuentran también Perry Robertson y Rob Zucca a las guitarras, Matt McFadden al bajo, Robert Dill a la batería, Bill Johnston al saxo, Dave Welch a la trompeta, Teresa James al piano y Fred Mandel al B-3. Un disco que aporta una bocanada de aire fresco para pasar un rato más que agradable. MUY BUENO.)

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Bluestown

The upfront, speaker rattling vocals of Kelly Zirbes hit the spot immediately on 'Don't Give My Blues Away', the latest album from US blues-driven act KELLY's LOT. Zirbes' voice is a mighty instrument and it's perfectly complemented by a band that takes the blues as the starting point and adds soul, r'n'b, rock, Americana and plenty of heart.

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, amazon.com and other online and traditional music retailers. 

Check out the Kelly's Lot official site for further details. The site can be found at http://www.kellyslot.com/ You can also find the band on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KellysLotMusic 

 

Blue Boogie CD Review

Style : Blues
Rate (1-5) : 

For 9 albums long (4 live albums en 5 studio albums) singer song writer Kelly Zirbes and guitarist Perry Robertson bring the best of their co-operation on CD. And with a reasonable amount of success if you ask me. Proof of that success is to be found on her album “Live in Brussels”.

“Don’t give My Blues Away “ follows the same path as the eight predecessors: Lot’s of good blues music within many different genres(including Rock, Folk, R&B and Americana) resulting in something that many of you will be pleased with. While most of the songs (if not all) are quite enjoyable and in for a couple of extra spins, I have the hard task to pinpoint a few of them for you. One of those hot picks is without doubt “Revolving Door” ,a tune that holds the middle between soul & blues. On “Why don’t we” the band goes into classic electric blues territory. Honky Tonk blues can be found on “Boom Boom Boom” and for “Don’t Miss Love” the band goes looking into the vaults of country and rockabilly music. But as said before, the complete album is quite enjoyable and would certainly be something that fit the record collection of every self-respecting blues fan.


Mr. Blue Boogie

Blues-E-News

A review that incorporates food and music.  - ...“Woman’s Love” begins with a beautiful slow blues guitar solo, setting up a melancholy scene of heartbreak and despair.    Kelly sings of her torment, the guitars and saxophone take turns piercing your soul.  The band shows us they could be from Chicago on “Right Now.”  A big helping of horns, Just as I turned off the oven, the band broke into “Boom, Boom, Boom.”  The song is going to be the band’s big hit this year, I’m sure.  The arrangement is big and bouncy, like Kelly’s Lot likes to do, and the piano is light and fluffy and lawless.Teresa James doesn’t make a lot of mistakes when she cooks up the blues, so of course the piano work is perfect. The tasty part of this treat is the tenor saxophone.  Its soulful and saucy... As the next track started, “Don’t Miss Love,” I had to check the liner notes to make sure Eddie Shavers had not just shown up.  The guitar work is phenomenal. Quick as a hip country two-step, then Kelly tells us a story.That’s what makes Kelly’s Lot so entertaining.  The band is a wonderful rhythm and blues ensemble that fills the room and makes you dance. Kelly dances with them,but still writes like a folk singer, with characters active in stories full of fun and drama…….Go to Blues-E-News to read more. 

Lonesome Highway

Kelly’s Lot 'Don’t Give My Blues Away' - Self Release

Kelly Zirbes formed this band in 1995 and with 9 CDs already released, their finely honed blues style shines through on this latest collection of 12 tunes.

All tracks are written by Kelly, with her guitar players Perry Roberson and Rob Zucca, and the production is bright and tight, with plenty of talented experience showing through in the playing. The saxophone and trumpet playing of Bill Johnson and Dave Welch is a driving force behind many of the arrangements and the Hammond B3 runs of Fred Mandel are a joy throughout.

However it is the guitar interplay of Robertson and Zucca that entwines the strong vocal performance of Kelly Zirbes and their impressive playing channels BB King and Robert Cray in style and tone. The blues, with a lot of rhythm and soul.

Rated G Radio

"What a great album! Such rich orchestration! Vocals - melt like butter on a hot stove"

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!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

Independent Blues Broadcasters Association

'Don't Give My Blues Away' has been nominated by the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association as one of the "Picks of the Month" for October. http://www.bluesbroadcasters.co.uk   "Hi Kelly . Just to let you know that your new album was voted as one on our Picks of the Month and will be played by all DJs in the IBBA ( Independent Blues Broadcasters Association ) , some 35 of us" - Kevin Beale IBBA

Rootstime

“Slowly moving towards their 20th year of existence, the American quintet ‘Kelly’s Lot’ has released twelve new songs in a broad variety of music genres around the core style of blues. Lead singer and songwriter Kelly Zirbes and co-writer and guitarist Perry Robertson are begging us ‘Don’t Give My Blues Away’ on their 9th record and they can rest assured: we won’t (at least not as long as their blues is that good)” 

 

Blues In The South

On the Kelly’s Lot FB page there is a line that says that the band plays ‘blues and the music that was inspired by it’. That is a truly accurate description of the music played by front woman Kelly Zirbes on vocals, Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca on guitars, Matt McFadden on bass, Michael Mason on drums, Bill Johnston on Sax, Dave Welch on Trumpets and Bobby Orgel on keys. What it does not tell you is how good they are.

Now anyone who reads my reviews will know that I am a sucker for a horn section and if you couple that with ‘chicken-pickin’’ guitar work I am done for. There is all that and more here.
Twelve tracks with 50+ minutes of music that ranges from the stomping opener , ‘Hush Up’ (which is actually the title track as it contains the line ‘Don’t you give

my blues away’) a kind of rootsy Rock ‘n’ Roller that reminds me of Brenda Lee (that really gives my age away) though the horn-riff driven ‘Revolving Door’, the Chi City sound of ‘Why Don’t We’ to the beautifully done slow- dance number ‘Woman’s Love’. Check out too the loping ‘Boom Boom Boom’ with a fabulous horn part, including a sax solo and an excellent piano part by Teresa James. Want funky? ‘Try Right Now’. New Orlin’s Rumba? Check out .Stateside. Chicken pickin’? Go and play .Don’t Miss Love,. roll back the carpet and start Texas Two-steppin right now.

Producers Perry Robertson, Bill Johnston and Scotty Lund have done a great job, particularly IMHO, in putting Ms Zirbes’ voice right at the front of the mix.
Kelly and Perry apparently did a duo tour in the UK in 2013. Right! Someone get this BAND back for a proper tour. Needless to say this one is strongly recommended 

Friday Night Blues, on Irvine Beat FM 107.2

"The album is great and well worth playing." - Hugh Fee

Keys and Chords

"For a portion of relaxing blues I can recommend ‘Don’t Give My Blues Away’ by Kelly’s Lot."  -  Ivan Van Belleghem  (Click link to read more in Dutch) 

Blues Rocks The World

Ventura County Breeze and Ventura Rocks

One of my favorite blues singers with some serious spunk is Kelly Zirbes who has this never ending contagious energy about her. She’s always there when a helping hand is needed and it’s always a treat to see Kelly along with her husband Perry Robertson and their band Kelly’s Lot perform. She’s sure to make you laugh, but more than that, the band will get you up off your tush jamming to their special brand of rockin’ blues. You’ll want to add this one to your collection for sure. Visit KellysLot.com to pick one up today.

 

Blues-E-News

Kelly is a yet to be ‘discovered’ California treasure, making her way doing what she loves doing. I know it sounds cliche’d but it’s true. Watch or listen to this girl sing and you’ll know I’m not making it up. Her concerts are more fun than a slinky and a staircase…….  

A lot of what they play doesn’t fit the traditional ‘blues’ genre stereotype but a lot of what they play doesn’t fit ANY genre stereotype and if you ask me it’s a refreshing sound which satisfies my inner rock ‘n’ roll beast as well as soothing my old man on the porch need for soul, rhythm and blues.

Battle Mountain Bugle

Croydon Radio

"thank you for making music that demands to be played! 

Music Connection

Kelly's Lot live up to their reputation as a blues-rock band with an alternative edge. Watching them is like watching the Blues Brothers backing Gwen Stefani. With groovy beats, smooth transitions and lots of energy , Kelly's Lot create a contagious style of music hat's simply fun. 

Blues Bytes

The L.A.-based band Kelly’s Lot was formed in 1995 by singer Kelly Zirbes and plays a mix of blues, rock, and roots music. They have toured extensively in the U.S. and abroad, opening for Tommy Castro, Shemekia Copeland, Marcia Ball, Curtis Salgado, and John Mayall. In 2011, they released a live recording from Brussels, Live In Brussels, that captures their essence pretty well.

The band consists of Perry Robinson on guitar, Matt McFadden on bass, Robert Dill on drums, and Rob Zucca on guitar, and they provide superb backing to Zirbes’ sultry vocals, tearing through this 15-track set of mostly original tunes (the lone cover is a crackling version of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”) with gusto, beginning with the opening cut, “Reason for the Blues.” Other highlights include “Taking Time,” “Redbone,” which has an almost jazzy backdrop, the feisty “Better Way,” and the set’s centerpiece, “Tired,” an intense slow blues that allows both Zirbes and the band to really stretch out.

The second half of the set has even more stellar material, including the funky “Train,” “Right Now,” a tight blues rocker, the country-flavored “Pistol,” and an excellent tribute to Janis Joplin, “Take This Heart,” which features Zirbes’ best vocal turn of the album, and that’s really saying something. While she doesn’t really sound like Joplin, her vocals more than capture the fire and soul that was such a part of the late singer’s style.

Live in Brussels is an excellent live set that will please fans of blues and blues-rock equally. It’s a set that’s meant to be played loud and often and you’ll find yourself doing both once you give it a spin. 3-31-14

--- Graham Clarke

Muzikman

Roadhouse rock and upbeat blues is the smoky flavor you get when you pick up a Kelly’s Lot album. Formed in 1995 by singer Kelly Zirbes after playing for family and friends, she embarked on an international music career that has spanned several releases and multiple live performances. Live in Brussels was released in Belgium and in the United States. After touring France and the UK in late 2013, the band will soon begin a new recording for a full band album introducing keys and a horn section. The band consists of Kelly Zirbes (songwriting, vocals), Peter Robinson (composer, keyboards), Matt McFadden (bass) and Rob Zucca (guitar).

 
Live albums can sometimes be a fifty-fifty shot. Some are good and you get the emotion of the band. Some make you want to hide in the closet and turn the album into a coaster.Live in Brussels is thankfully the former. I listen to music while I write. Most of the time the sound blends into the background and becomes part of my story in one way or another. This album took me to another place-a smoky blues café. How wonderful. The Americana and Southern roadhouse rock sound of this live album took me out my world and into Kelly’s. Sultry female vocals and vibrant percussion and guitar led me down the road to perdition and I was thrilled to be on the journey.
 
“Taking Time” or “Coffee” is a morning song that wakes you up as sure as its name. This piece should be my mantra! A writer’s life incarnate!  Somewhat familiar in the background melody, this song rockets up and gets you moving like a double shot of espresso. Deadlines, madness…and then the thought of a lover stops time and shifts things back into focus. Guitar swings out, Southern rock style and the warm pull of the percussion slides down my throat like my favorite salted caramel mocha and I smile. This song rocks.
 
“Tired” surrounds you with curling guitar riffs and smoking hot bass. Joplin style vocals growl from Kelly Z. bringing the listener right in the center of the action. Soul searing lyrics of loss and a want for love burn from the center of this song. Southern rock meets the blues and I didn’t want it to end.
 
“Take This Heart” has to be one of my favorites on the album. Kelly’s vocals ease their way into place with a steady percussion and guitar element. Morphing into a gritty performance of longing, I was enthralled. Every emotion comes through, screaming and loud. Guitar riffs flair and bend the piece into a complex weave of harmony and substance.
 
Live from Brussels is an album that illustrates the blues and rock styles of Kelly’s Lot. Known for their Americana roots rock style, this band is headed for great things. Internationally known and ready to step back into the studio, I am excited to see they are getting a horn section and will also be adding some keys to the mix. Five stars with flames and this band is worth every second. Earthy tones, vibrant percussion, rocking guitar and bass with vocals that will curl your toes…what more can you ask for? Kelly Z. and her crew are going on my bands to watch list and I eagerly await their next album.  1-23-14
5/5 Stars

Blues-E-News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly Zirbes has been rumbling across the bridge to the Blues since long before I first saw her perform at the Santa Clarita Blues Festival where she told me about listening to her mom late at night sing along to Etta James and Della Reese. That is where her emotional connection to the Blues was born. That emotional connection would later play a big role in Kelly's singing and songwriting and who she is as an artist today. Once realizing that Blues is the music that soothes the aching heart, she knew that would be the music she would sing one day. Early in her career and before realizing her complete infatuation with the Blues, Kelly was being influenced by guys like Cat Stevens and in fact, these artists weighed so heavily on her musical persona that when asked to audition Kelly chose Cat Stevens' 'Moonshadow' to play at one of her first auditions. It worked, she passed the audition and on a wing and a prayer Kelly was off to Japan of all places and ended up honing her skills playing her own heartfelt songs at a local wine bar in Kobe. Back from Japan, Kelly bumped around various jobs keeping mostly to herself in search of who she really wanted to be but at the end of every day, it was the music that called to her and inspired her. In 1995 the 'folksy' Kelly took the stage at the world famous Roxy in Hollywood with her first full band, Kelly's Lot and discovered the rock 'n roll in her heart and was certainly starting to gain an edge and begin her trip down that dusty road we call the Blues.

 

She recorded her first album with J. Peter Robinson, bass god Lee Sklar and other well seasoned musicians and released a "Live at The Troubador" CD, produced by Texan guitarist Perry Robertson. As she started writing more songs with Perry, the Southern rock of Texas made it's way into the sound of the band and again she was back on the bridge to the Blues. During that time Perry saw in Kelly what a lot of people hadn't and carefully led her in a direction that would ultimately land them playing one of the biggest Blues Festivals in the world. It was July 4th 2006 when Kelly and Perry made the decision to continue on that path. It was that day that the Duo played the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, OR. Peter Dammann, (see interview) the creative director of the fest, took a chance on them and it was an honor they did not take lightly. It was that experience at Waterfront that really began to solidify the musical bond between artist and genre for Kelly and like many of us, artist or fan, one gig changed everything. Back in Los Angeles (see MINT videos) they continued playing a variety of styles while adding more original Blues and Blues covers to their set lists. Kelly was busy writing and playing with different variations of the band. With horns, without horns, full electric, full acoustic, solo, duo, trio ...there was nothing she was afraid to try and the chops she developed during that time is what gives her the ability and confidence to try crazy stunts like heading off to Chicago with nothing but a guitar and an iPhone. Connecting with the different Blues societies in Southern California and participating in the local Blues jams inspired her even more and despite criticism from a few hard line Blues people Kelly had definitely arrived on the Blues circuit. (see VU Bar video). Many purists have trouble when an artist like Kelly comes along and crosses over or combines genres claiming that their beloved music is somehow being diluted but just because some feel that way doesn't mean that's how it is. Blues was in Kelly's blood and there was no denying it. Anyone who watched her sing could tell and her songwriting started drifting in a Bluesier direction. A person only has to see her perform one time to realize her passion and drive. She's a dynamo on stage bringing energy to the Blues like few before her. She sings gritty like Big Mama Thornton and in your face like Annie Lennox, in a style that has yet to be classified and a genre yet to be labeled. In 2008 the Duo traveled to Europe for a short tour with their harmonica player, Linda Moss and made connections that would bring them back to Europe eventually as a full band in 2010. The 'Lot' took Brussels and France by landslide and by the time they packed their bags and came home they had a LIVE CD from The Montmartre in Brussels in the can and throngs of non English speaking fans all over Europe. With the CD in tow the duo will return to France in October 2013 to tour with Jeff Toto Blues. The journey to the Blues is long and has many surprises along the way. Kelly and Perry were lucky enough to connect with Alfie Dickson from the Smokey Blues Society in Scotland where they played 5 gigs in 2 days including a primary school where the duo spoke to 5-10 year olds about the Blues and songwriting. In late July and August Kelly will tour from Los Angeles to Chicago and back again to support her most recent release, Plain Simple Me, not a Blues record but back to her folksy roots and memories of Cat Stevens and Moonshadow and what started it all in the beginning. 8-19-2013  Read more at www.Blues-E-News.com Your partner in blues! Volume 2 Issue 4 2013 page 50-53 

Music Log

Kelly's Lot is an excellent blues-rock band based in Los Angeles and fronted by Kelly Zirbes.  They've released several albums over the years including The Light (2008), Pastrami & Jam (2009) and Live In Brussels (2011).  


Pastrami and Jam - Kelly's Lot's 2009 release features several excellent cover songs, such as Bonnie Raitt's "Give It Up Or Let Me Go," as well as original material. Kelly Zirbes, lead singer of Kelly's Lot, has one of those strong, kick-ass female rock voices. It's a pleasure - even a thrill - to hear her belt out some of these numbers. There are several cover songs on this album. Kelly interestingly chooses female vocalists to cover that she's most likely been compared to at one time or another - Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin.

Live in Brussels -Kelly's Lot is an excellent blues-rock band based in Los Angeles, and fronted by Kelly Zirbes. They've put out several albums, but the way to truly experience this band - and Kelly's voice - is in concert. So I was really excited to hear they were putting out a live album. And this collection does capture the spirit of this band.  Yes, this band is all about the blues, but it's their own brand of blues - it's like Positive Blues. Take a song like "Taking Time" for example. This is no poor-me type of blues. And even when things go wrong for the characters in these songs (and of course things do go wrong - this is the blues, after all), it's not like they're victims. How could you consider the protagonist of "Better Way" a victim? And certainly the singer of "Pistol" can take care of herself. A lot is said about Kelly's voice, and with good reason. But what also needs to be clear is that these guys are excellent musicians. Without ostentatious stage antics or any nonsense, these guys really PLAY. You know? Perry Robertson has often blown me away when I've seen him perform. Also, these guys clearly love what they're doing. You can see it in their smiles; you can hear it on all of these tracks.


Plain Simple Me - And now they're putting out a new studio album titled Plain Simple Me, an album that I was immediately drawn into. For the most part, the writing is really strong, and the band seems to be taking more chances than ever before, stretching out a bit into different territory.  There is still a lot of that kick-ass bluesy attitude, but the album is more in the acoustic vein, which I love.

To read more of Michael's reviews on these KL CDs scroll down to the bottom of this page. 

La Montagne

From a meeting and a big blow to the heart are born in France then a tour planned in the United States and concerts "that new exiting." In 2013, Jeff Toto Blues, known to fans and Kelly'Lot participant, both at a show case in Clermont felt the same vein to interpret monitoring on guitar by Perry Robertson blues. Their way, instead of Gayme, left musical chills, blues, folk, rock a variety of style that does not impress the three artists. The voice of the American singer and performance of guitar interpretation Penitentiary, joined by their Canadian friend Janis (opera singer and member of the Tri Harmony) have left traces of emotion in the hearts of the audience.- english translation from Google. 7-14-14

Leicester Bangs Blog

….Strong songs are at the fore, and Zirbes voice is subtle, though never understated, and bright - she’s certainly no blues bawler. Indeed, her vocals are melodic and easy to fall for, and on opening cut “Soften Me Up” she’s the star of the show, controlling the song with just her voice and dominating the forcefully strummed acoustic guitar backing. “Restless” is just as good – it’s a powerful protest song with an epic, string-driven quality that’s irresistible.
The title-track is a perfect example of American folk music. Had it been released in the ‘60s or early ‘70s, Joan Baez would probably covered it, and when they choose to plug in and rock a little on “Runnin’”, they a hit a wicked groove almost instantly and the effect will surely put a smile on the face of the most cynical and jaded of blues-rock fans. 9-25-13

Blues Blast Magazine

Kelly Zirbes singing the blues with style and heart." 9-18-13

Smokestack Lightnin' Blues Radio

The latest from Kelly Zirbes and her band Kelly’s Lot is “Live in Brussels”. This 13 song set is a continuation of the natural “rough and ready” roadhouse sound that has made this band a fan favorite for years. If you like your blues up-front and personal , this CD is for you. The louder you play it, the better it gets. 

Arbroath, Scotland

5-12-13

Los Angeles Examiner

In fact, they just released their newest disc, Live In Brussels. Recorded at the close of their most recent European tour....The album includes an introduction and 15 songs with a total running time of approximately 70 minutes. It’s a great example of what the band is capable of in front of a live audience. The first song is 'Reason For The Blues'. The tune has some great lines like: ‘Cause you’re hard like candy/Sweet like wine/I can’t help myself every time”.....The fan favorite and critically-praised 'Redbone' is up next. It sounds even better live thanks in part to McFadden's bass line.....The next number is 'Better Way' This is a good example of what the group is capable of in a live setting. 'Come To This', however, receives the “Critic’s Choice” here. While it is admittedly the outdated story of a woman who can do nothing but whine about the mediocre state of her married life Zirbes manages to make it enjoyable nonetheless. No easy feat considering it is almost 2012 and women have had equal rights and incredible opportunities for decades now.

They pick it up with their cover of Robert Johnson’s classic 'Crossroads' Zirbes is well into her Bonnie Raitt-Janis Joplin mode and the band is really rockin’ here. 'Tired' is the band’s chance to shine especially with some extended guitar work. The cut is also highlighted by the use of what sounds like a more traditional blues rhythm as frontwoman Zirbes takes a temporary backseat here.

They follow it up with “Train”, 'Right Now' and “Pistol”. All are additional examples of Kelly’s Lot’s signature sound. The latter being an especially kick-ass cut...Zirbes tips her hat to one of her obvious inspirations with “Homage To Janis Joplin” before the band moves into “Take This Heart” a song which was written specifically with Joplin in mind...'Happy Girl' is the closing cut and if the fans of Kelly’s Lot buy this new CD the way the audience at this gig bought the band’s performance Zirbes will surely be a “happy girl”. 11-5-2011

Independent Songwriter Magazine

Kelly's Lot is scaled down to 2 guitars and vocals for this live recording at Hallenbeck's Cafe in North Hollywood.
ISWM INDIE PICK OF THE MONTH - (review)...Take the full bluesy rocking sound of Kelly's Lot and reduce it to an intimate trio effect and you have an idea of what this latest offering is all about. But make no mistake, this album may be less volumatic but it possesses the same raw signature sound of Kelly's Lot written over every single track. Delicious enough to ask for seconds......nay, thirds. Independent Songwiter Magazine 9-27-2004

Le Blog des critiques de Concerts

See Reviews and Stuff in French. 10-4-09

Paper Blog - France

see Reviews and Stuff in French 9-25-2010

All Access

The Light ~ by: Kelly's Lot

Promoting themselves as "Rockin' Roadhouse Blues," and rightly so, Kelly's Lot has delivered a disk that also confirms the group's solid status as straight-ahead rockers. Fronted by the energetic Kelly Zirbes, who also writes most of the songs, the band features not only guitarists Rob Zucca and Perry Robertson, plus bass and drums by Mark Drews and Sebastian Sheehan, but also an awesome wind player named Bill Johnston, who handles both sax and clarinet, and who wails just as well as any lead guitarist. (And make no mistake, Rob and Perry are great on this disk!) Kelly herself has one of those gritty voices that goes so well with the hard-luck expressions of the blues, right up there with Bonnie Raitt or Melissa Etheridge. So when she comes out from the gate with "Drive," the blues-based opening track, you feel the drive from her soul, and again, on the slowed-down electric blues of "Tired," she gets that down-home feel from the fields, with hot sauce on it. One note, though: Kelly couldn't keep herself from rhyming "girl" and "world" on three different songs, but hey, if it works for Robert Plant or Madonna, then let Kelly make it so as well! Let it be known: Kelly's Lot is a big supporter of Hepatitis-C awareness and research -- heck, they're doing another benefit this very Saturday, March 14, down at Java Joe’s in Yorba Linda. And because of the great spirit and good contained in work like that, it's really fitting that the Kelly's Lot CD closes with a song that's not too blue at all, "Say Yes To Life" -- positive vibrations from a bluesgirl with a big heart! Check her website: kellyslot.com.  3-09-10

Tri-Community News Plus

France

Rock City News

Pasadena Weekly

Rock City News

Night Moves - Test Drive Review

Kelly's to - Test Drive -  Kelly's Lot makes a statement right out of the blocks with "Black and Blue." Crisp, clear and precise vocals only had the songs. Backing her us is Thomas Richter on lead, Sebastian Sheehan on drums, Chris Robertson on bass and Perry Robertson with rhythm. Mr. Robertson's production completely shows through - it's not often that all the instruments/percussion are heard on every track. Test Drive does not have a bad track, just degrees of greatness. "Just You" is a wonderful change of pace from the first two tracks, more southern rock than the heavy country/rock influences of the album. But let's nit stop there! For example, "Love Has Wings" is very melodic and the lyrics are thoughtful and inspiring. "Living Inside Her" is proof positive of what Ms. Zirbes and Kelly's Lot can do - a total crossover of genres. From southern rock to ska to pop, this song has it all! Last but not least is "Back To L.A." The addition of Bill Johnston on saxophone shows the bands willingness to explore their creative ideas. And just when you thought you'd heard it all comes 'Close My Eyes" It has an old world flamingo flavor that puts you into the streets of Madrid. 

The Scene

Kelly Zirbes is a powerful singer and songwriter. Hand this woman a microphone, place her front of an audience and what you get is a toe-tapping magical moment. Fortunately for all of us, "Trio" captures that magic perfectly delivering soulful, bittersweet lyrics laced with a full range of emotions and experiences related to love, life, pleasure and pain. The songs are top-notch, well arranged and complimented by excellent musicianship. Collectively, the trio hits a groove and drives it home through their entire set, all the while keeping their audience fully entranced. Zirbes' vocal style dominates the emotions laid out in her songs, and that's a good thing.She's not afraid to belt out a tune when it is required. If you're looking for a musical laid back bluesy groove, this CD takes you there. 

Rock City News

….The CD she sent me entitled "Trio", is a collection of acoustic bluesy rock ballads that explore all sides of relationships. The CD has great sound and was recorded live, in front of a small audience at Hellnbeck's General Store in North Hollywood. The guitar work by her long time friends Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca is great and Kelly's bluesy, raspy voices filled with emotions as they tear through the tracks. …..

Music Log - Plain Simple Me

Kelly's Lot is an excellent blues-rock band based in Los Angeles and fronted by Kelly Zirbes.  They've released several albums over the years including The Light (2008), Pastrami & Jam (2009) and Live In Brussels (2011).  This is a band that, to my ear, has gotten better and better.  I think their most recent release, the live album, is the best they'd ever done. 

And now they're putting out a new studio album titled Plain Simple Me, an album that I was immediately drawn into. For the most part, the writing is really strong, and the band seems to be taking more chances than ever before, stretching out a bit into different territory.  There is still a lot of that kick-ass bluesy attitude, but the album is more in the acoustic vein, which I love.  And I especially appreciate the presence of Aubrey Richmond on violin, which definitely changes the band's sound too.  Not that every song is acoustic. "I'll Go" features some excellent electric guitar.  As does the closing track, "Runnin'," which is a seriously cool rock tune.

All of the songs are originals.

"Soften Me Up"- Plain Simple Me opens with "Soften Me Up," which is a surprise, with its catchy, happy rhythm. Kelly's voice has a delightful sweetness at times which I don't expect from her. But don't worry - there is still that raw, rough power that breaks in when she sings, "I tried to be sweet and nice/And do everything, everything that's right." How perfect it is for the sweetness to leave her voice just as she sings how she tried to be sweet. This song also boasts some nice work on guitar.  It's a wonderful tune, one of my favorites from this album.

"Restless" - "Restless" is another interesting surprise, for it has a darker mood. I love the addition of violin, and that instrument is allowed to drive the song for a while, which is great. I also really dig the bass line. That's Nate Light on stand-up bass.  But of course it's Kelly's voice that really makes the song live. Here is a taste of the lyrics: "I'm getting restless/Time to get out/From under this madness/From under this cloud."

"Plain Simple Me" - The album's title track is another surprising song. It's a pretty tune in which Kelly shows a vulnerable side. She really bares herself here, partly in the lyrics, and also because of the makeup of the song - just vocals, guitar, and violin (and that's Kelly on guitar). In some ways, this song feels like a late 1960s folk tune, in some of the imagery and the general vibe. Like these lines: "Are you the traveler of my dreams/Taking me to places that I’ve dreamed of but I never seen/And I long to take your hand and go with you to that distant land/Because I long to get away/Oh you know that I, I long to be set free from/Plain simple me."

"Lost And Found" - "Lost And Found" is another song of powerful beauty (this album is really full of surprises). It's a song of loss and yet optimism, and even joy as Kelly sings, "I feel love, I feel love, I feel love from above."  The violin adds to the song's beauty. Here is a taste of the lyrics: "Lost and found, I'm lost again along the way/Up and down I'm searching everyday/For the angel once beside me and for an angel up above/I need a reason to survive this world without my little girl."

"Better Way" - "Better Way" is more in line with what we know and expect from this band, thematically, with Kelly singing, "I'm gonna bury my love deep today/Nobody gonna hurt me/Nobody gonna ever hurt me/Nobody gonna hurt me again." I love that sort of defiance in the face of heartbreak and mistreatment, and the way she attacks it vocally. But this is still an acoustic tune.  I like what Matt McFadden does on bass. Of course, one reason why this song feels more like previous material is that a performance of this song was included on last year's release, Live In Brussels. That version is a longer, bluesier, electric rendition. "Better Way" was written By Kelly Zirbes and Perry Robertson.

"Runnin'" - The album concludes with "Runnin'," which is more of a rock tune, with a bit of a funky edge and of course more than a bit of blues. There is a certain Zeppelin thing going on her during one section. It's a seriously fun song, one that I imagine is going to be amazing in their live performances. Making the song even better is the presence of Elizabeth Hangan on backing vocals. 9-10-2011

 

Music Log - Live in Brussels

Kelly's Lot is an excellent blues-rock band based in Los Angeles, and fronted by Kelly Zirbes. They've put out several albums, but the way to truly experience this band - and Kelly's voice - is in concert. So I was really excited to hear they were putting out a live album. And this collection does capture the spirit of this band. 

Yes, this band is all about the blues, but it's their own brand of blues - it's like Positive Blues. Take a song like "Taking Time" for example. This is no poor-me type of blues. And even when things go wrong for the characters in these songs (and of course things do go wrong - this is the blues, after all), it's not like they're victims. How could you consider the protagonist of "Better Way" a victim? And certainly the singer of "Pistol" can take care of herself.

A lot is said about Kelly's voice, and with good reason. But what also needs to be clear is that these guys are excellent musicians. Without ostentatious stage antics or any nonsense, these guys really PLAY. You know? Perry Robertson has often blown me away when I've seen him perform. Also, these guys clearly love what they're doing. You can see it in their smiles; you can hear it on all of these tracks.

This is the best album the band has put out so far. Seventy minutes of excellent blues-rock. With one obvious exception, all the songs on this release are original songs, written by singer Kelly Zirbes and guitarist Perry Robertson.

"Reason For The Blues" - The the band jumps right into a groovy blues number called "Reason For The Blues." Kelly has a great voice for blues and rock. It's rough and powerful - you get the feeling she could bruise you with it if she so desired. Kelly really demonstrates her vocal chops when she gets to the lines, "'Cause you're hard like candy/Sweet like wine/I can't help myself every time." And then there is some great work on guitar by both Rob Zucca and Perry Robertson.

"Taking Time" - Kelly introduces "Taking Time" by saying, "Here's a new song. I call it 'Coffee.' Or, 'Taking Time.'" I love it when bands introduce new material in a live context. With the title not even firmed up, you get the sense you're experiencing something in development, which is always exciting. And this one is an immediate favorite. Kelly sings, "Well, I'm taking time for love/I'm taking time for you." This song also has a good little jam.

"Redbone" is my favorite tune from the band's 2008 release, The Light. This song has a seriously cool groove. And this live version is a lot of fun. I love Matt McFadden's bass line.

"Crossroads" - is the album's sole cover tune. Kelly's Lot does a fast-paced, high-energy rendition of this classic tune written by Robert Johnson. The band is clearly influenced by Cream's version. While Kelly's voice is electrifying, it's actually the instrumental section of this track that really sells it.

"Tired" - has that familiar traditional blues rhythm and groove, something the previous tracks have stayed away from. The band doesn't rely on it. But it's welcome here - it works. Listen to that great pain in Kelly's voice when she sings, "I'm lost, I'm so lost." And there is a nice extended guitar section. The band really stretches out here - this song is ten minutes long. Kelly is not afraid to step aside and let the band cook on its own for a while.

"Pistol" - Kelly's soft, simple intro, "This is called 'Pistol,'" does nothing to warn you about the groovy, kick-ass song that follows. This song really caught me by surprise. Check out these lines: "I got my knife sharpened/I'm not ready to see you bleed/Make sweet love to me, and in the morning we'll see."

"Take This Heart" - When folks talk about Kelly's voice, one of the comparisons that is often made is to Janis Joplin, in terms of the raw power and sexiness. Kelly included her version of Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" on the band's 2009 release, Pastrami & Jam. In introducing "Take This Heart," Kelly says, "I kind of tried to channel her...This song is about what I think she would be saying if she were still out there performing." (That introduction is presented as a separate track, titled "Homage To Janis Joplin.")

It begins, "Take this heart/Take it away from me/Take this soul." Of course the allusion is to one of Joplin's most famous songs, "Piece Of My Heart." My favorite lines from "Take This Heart" are, "Because baby you've taken the best of me/So why don't you just take the rest of me."  10-27-11


Music Log - Pastrami and Jam

Kelly's Lot's 2009 release features several excellent cover songs, such as Bonnie Raitt's "Give It Up Or Let Me Go," as well as original material. Kelly Zirbes, lead singer of Kelly's Lot, has one of those strong, kick-ass female rock voices. It's a pleasure - even a thrill - to hear her belt out some of these numbers. There are several cover songs on this album. Kelly interestingly chooses female vocalists to cover that she's most likely been compared to at one time or another - Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin.

"Give It Up Or Let Me Go" - Kelly's Lot opens this CD with an excellent cover of Bonnie Raitt's "Give It Up Or Let Me Go." It's a nice lively rock tune to open the album. Perry Robertson's guitar part is excellent. It seems completely natural for Kelly to cover Bonnie Raitt. Both singers have such strong voices, full of passion and sometime fury.

"Nobody Here But Me" is a good rock song written by Kelly Zirbes. This song was also included on Kelly's Lot's 2008 release, The Light. This newer version is slightly longer.

"Route 66" - Kelly's Lot's version of "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" has a cool swing vibe to it. It features a good bass line and a nice guitar solo. This song was written in 1946 by Bob Troup, and has been covered by a lot of bands over the years, including The Rolling Stones and Depeche Mode.

"Why Don't You Do Right" - "Why Don't You Do Right" begins with just the bass. (The previous song, "Mockingbird," ends with just the bass, so there's actually a nice transition there.) This song was written by Joe McCoy, and it has a similar feel to The Stray Cats' "Stray Cat Strut." In fact, when Kelly and Perry performed this song with The Brian Kinler Band, they paired it with that song.


"House Of The Rising Sun" - Kelly's Lot does a damn good version of "House Of The Rising Sun," a song made famous by The Animals. This CD has the song credited to Eric Burdon, but it's actually unknown who wrote the song (though it certainly was not Eric Burdon). The earliest known recordings are from the 1930s, a few decades before the version by The Animals. Also, Woody Guthrie recorded a version of it, and then in 1960 Joan Baez recorded a version. The song makes much more sense when sung by a woman.
There is an excellent jam on Kelly's Lot's version, driven by the guitar but also featuring some very cool work on drums by Robert Dill. And it actually ends with some more great jamming. Just listen to that guitar. Wonderful. (This is also the longest track on the CD.)

"Today" - "Today" is just a fun song. It's an upbeat rock tune with some good lyrics written by Kelly Zirbes and Perry Robertson. Here is a taste of the lyrics: "And I do what I do/If it helps me get through/And I say what I say/If it helps my pain go away."

Janis Joplin - Kelly Zirbes does "Mercedes Benz" acappella, just as Janis did it. (Actually, Janis banged out a simple beat while she sang - something Kelly doesn't bother with.) It's something of a risk covering Janis Joplin, a woman who had one of the best (and most famous) voices in rock. But Kelly does a really good job with the song.

Kelly's voice seems like pure rock. Yet her voice works surprisingly well with jazz too. She has performed several of the songs from this album with The Brian Kinler Band, a piano-driven jazz band that often has her as a guest vocalist. Perry Robertson also sits in on guitar with the band for those shows. (They've performed "Give It Up Or Let Me Go," "Route 66" and "House Of The Rising Sun" with The Brian Kinler Band.) 4-08-11