Kelly’s Lot review…June 1, 2019….

KELLY’S LOT

CAN’T TAKE MY SOUL

COBRASIDE

ALL I EVER WANT IS THE BLUES–ALL HOPE AIN’T LOST–ALYSSA–WOE IS ME–SAFE AND WARM–RISE UP (LEVE’ TOI)–BROKE MYSELF–LET IT BREATHE–DIRT–LITTLE BIT OF THIS–CAN’T TAKE MY SOUL–MON AMI

Kelly Zirbes (say “service”) prefers just Kelly Z, and she and her band, Kelly’s Lot, have been tearin’ these blues up on the SoCal scene for 25 years now, ever since their first night at the Roxy in Hollywood in 1994.  Bathed in the muddy waters of the blues, she and her writing partner/guitarist Perry Robertson offer up twelve eclectic cuts on their latest set, “Can’t Take My Soul.”  There are love songs, loving tributes, topical-themed songs, and a couple of songs done partly in French.

The party starts with a bang, in the form of the opening shuffle that finds our girl under a lover’s spell, where “All I Want Is The Blues.”  This one name-checks many of our heroes, from Muddy to SRV to Etta to Koko and everyone in between.  She channels her inner torch singer to present an ode to true love, where she feels “Safe And Warm,” while she gets in a spirited duet with Jean-Francois Thomas, as each sings a verse in their native language, “Rise Up (Leve’-Toi).”

We had several favorites.  Set over a creepin’ bass line and Frank Hinojosa’s harp, one can break a lot of things, but our heroine “Broke Myself” by loving you!  “Woe Is Me” shows off Kelly’s fantastic alto voice in the story of a lover who is always “focused on your bad luck,” and features squeezebox and frottoir from Eddie Baytos.  Lastly, Kelly takes us all down to Blues Church with the testifyin’ of “you can take my guitar when it’s time for me to go, but You Can’t Take My Soul!”

Kelly Z is one of the most unique artists in all of contemporary blues.  Continually challenging herself to greater heights, she often encourages her social media followers to provide her with a single word, out of which she composes a song.  That energy is evident throughout “Can’t Take My Soul.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

 

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