|“Where and When” by Kelly’s Lot is an acoustic collection of original and traditional blues songs recorded in an old-fashioned way, in a circle and live to tape. Kelly’s Lot has included blues music in their repertoire since their inception in 1994 starting with their first original, ‘Happy Girl,’ which is still a fan favorite today. Their musical journey has taken them down a road of many genres with songwriting being the key element of each direction. Lead singer, Kelly Zirbes, and guitar player, Perry Robertson, are the songwriters and key members of the group and have played with a variety of musicians, some in the band for over 20 years. After working with Doug Pettibone in 2020, they felt he was the perfect co-producer and guitar player for a venture down the blues road with David Grover playing some bottom-end magic. Releasing June 11, 2021 “Where and When” is their first album to focus only on the blues with six originals and five covers of Howlin’ Wolf, Ma Rainey, Robert Johnson, and Lovie Austin. The all-acoustic presentation features these songs with an historic flavor and a Kelly’s Lot twist.
TRACK NOTES FROM KELLY
1) Stronger – Kelly and Perry were inspired to write this song by everything happening in the world. So many are feeling down, depressed, and trapped. We wanted to remind them that maybe these challenges will make us all stronger. A hopeful song to help us come out of a tough situation.
2) Somebody In My Home – Kelly chose this song from Howlin’ Wolf for its slow-moving groove and message about infidelity and who’s to blame. We all want love in a relationship but without it we may stray. Howlin’ Wolf writes the lyrics as the person who didn’t love their partner enough, which created a path for his lover to welcome someone else into his home.
3) Heaven – Kelly wrote the lyrics to this song after hearing Perry fiddling around on the guitar. Took them about 15 minutes from fiddling to finishing the song. They like to think of this song as a spiritual that doesn’t want to surrender. The truth is we don’t want to miss out on things when it is our time to leave this earth.
4) Jealous Hearted Love – Lovie Austin wrote this, and Ma Rainey made it known. It’s one of Kelly’s favorite Ma Rainey tunes and Lovie’s lyrics about jealousy makes for some smiles instead of the ‘pit in your stomach’ jabs you get when you feel it.
5) Lost – Perry challenged Kelly with a few guitar riffs to sing slower than she was used to and these words just came out. Depression is universal and those who feel it also know what it’s like to be lost.
6) Nature – Another great twist by Howlin’ Wolf. His lyrics explain how it is natural for a man to be lookin’ around or even being unfaithful. The twist is singing it as a woman who also has that choice. The upbeat vibe makes for a little fun.
7) Where And When – This song was written for a project Kelly did about grief. But it was also inspired by the idea that we don’t spend enough time with each other.
8) Stones In My Passway – Kelly knew she had to do this song by Robert Johnson because everyone can find a message in these lyrics. We all have stuff that gets in our way including those who love us and promise to respect us. You can also find a darker message too if you look for it, but it will come from your own experience because these lyrics let you do that!
9) That Fool – Kelly and Perry wrote this to express the deep sorrow of loving someone who doesn’t love you back and the quest to find a way to stop doing it.
10) Black Eye Blues – The hard part about covering this song is Kelly’s mother lived the same experience as ‘Miss Nancy Ann’. Domestic violence is too common of a thread in our world, but these lyrics and upbeat music give some hope in finding strength and hopefully making the decision to leave.
11) Ship – The phrase, “My ship is about to come in” morphed into this song about waiting for your ship when all along it is waiting for you to get on board.
Kelly’s Lot was formed in 1994 by Kelly Zirbes, a folk singer/songwriter with a heart for the blues. With 15 CDs and lots of touring in the USA and Europe, the band celebrates 27 years since the first night the band hit the stage at the Roxy in Hollywood. Kelly Z met guitar player and soundman, Perry Robertson in 1996, who soon after produced ‘Kelly’s Lot – Live at the Troubadour’. Within a year he joined the band, started writing songs with Kelly Z and added the southern rock and Texas influences that have shaped their sound.
As a duo or band, they have played coffee shops, theaters, festivals, clubs, house concerts and a variety of events. In the last 10 years they have played as a 5–8-piece blues band that is well respected in the American blues scene. Some of the larger festivals they have played are Waterfront Blues, Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival, Ventura County Blues Festival, and Lavaudieu Music Festival. Their songs have been heard in movies and television and covered by other artists.
Perry Robertson, who shares songwriting and band leader credits with Kelly Z, has recorded and produced most of the band’s music including the 2019 release ‘Can’t Take My Soul’ which featured Americana, Blues, Folk and Roots/Rock creations. In May and June of 2020, Kelly Z and Perry worked with Doug Pettibone to record a new selection of songs, ‘ANOTHER SKY’ that also fit in those Americana genres including six of the tracks on the album that were inspired by words from fans on Facebook. The album charted for several months in the top 10 on the Roots Music Report Contemporary Folk and top 20 on the Folk chart as well as in the top 50 Folk DJ chart in the fall 2020. In 2021, it was back to the Blues with Kelly and Perry working again with Pettibone to record this ‘LIVE to Digital’ Acoustic Blues release, ‘WHERE AND WHEN’ that releases on June 11.