Kelly Z and "the Lot"


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A couple reviews 

Kelly’s Lot have been playing and recording (Bittersweet is their eleventh release) in Los Angeles since the mid 90’s. They consist of singer songwriter Kelly Zirbes and her band Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca on guitars, Matt McFadden on bass, Sebastian Sheehan on drums, Bill Johnston on sax, Dave Welch on trumpet, Bobby Orgel on keyboards and Frank Hinojosa on harp. 

Bittersweet, containing a hefty fourteen tracks, finds Zirbes stretching her musical parameters to deliver folky ballads, funky country, rocking blues and some full on, in fact very full on, rockers. Consistent throughout all the genres represented is the wonderful vocal delivery by Zirbes who also delivers a moving a capella on the hymn like Proud.

Come Home is a stripped back love ballad, featuring only Zirbes vocal and acoustic guitar courtesy of Perry Robertson. Mr.Chairman turns the heat up, a bluesy detour with a nice sax break by Johnston. Thorn, a dreamy country ballad, features aching pedal steel throughout by guest player Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Tift Merritt, and Tim Easton). Sleep explores darker territories, very effectively it has to be said. 

The title track Bittersweet is a heartfelt recognition for many Vietnam War veterans, lamenting their often lack of recognition and acknowledgement when returning from the frontline. Opening and closing with acoustic guitar and a whistling intro by Zirbes of ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ it also features neat harmonica playing by Hinojosa.

Love Is Hard To Catch, with its sultry almost spoken delivery and kicking in at over six minutes, enters Marianne Faithfull territory as does the equally impressive On Fire with its thundering chorus. - Declan Culliton

On the first day of Christmas, I finally got to sit in the comfort of my easy chair and listen to this new CD by Kelly's Lot on my home stereo from start to finish. Not once but twice. Once wasn't enough. That is a privilege that only a handful have had and I am so honored to be included. Although I had previously played it in my car, that didn't prepare me for what I heard today. This isn't background music; it demands your full and undivided attention. The marvelous sonics can only be revealed on a good sound system. I wanted to hear every note and breath till they faded out to silence. Within these 14 tracks, there truly is something for everyone here and hearing them from start to finish, they are all worthy of your time. In some cases, like 'On Fire' and 'Rise Above', they grab you by the lapels with "in your face" swagger. Others, like Mr. Chairman and Happy, will have you smiling and singing along to yourself. And yet the ones that really tug away at the heartstrings are where this CD truly shines and those I relished the most: Come Home, Without A Song, Love Is Hard To Catch, Colours of December, to name a few. 

Set aside your gadgets for 50min 34sec and be prepared to be transported on an emotional journey where you will soar with a heightened awareness of what it means to be human. It will be time well spent. - Mr. Chairman , The Z Spot