Don’t Give My Blues Away is the latest by L.A.-based blues rock band Kelly’s Lot. Founded in 1995 by once solo folk singer-songwriter Kelly Zirbes, Kelly’s Lot currently consists of Zorbas on lead vocals, 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.
Don’t Give My Blues Away is their ninth release. With a running time of almost 53 minutes, it consists of a dozen original tracks. Almost all of the album’s selections were written by Zirbes and Perry Robertson. The album opener is “Hush Up”. The CD’s title is drawn from the lyric of this cut. It’s considered by some critics to be one of the “most danceable” tracks on the disc and gets things off to a good start.
The second selection is “Revolving Door” which seems almost a prerequisite for any band with a lady lead singer. Still, Zirbes somehow owns it so no complaints here. It’s followed by “Why Don’t We” which serves as another example of what Zirbes and Robertson can do as writers.
They switch it up a bit with “Woman’s Love” which is written by Zirbes and Zucca. It includes memorable guitar work and is an early favorite of the critics to boot. Also included here is “Taking Time” which has its own little identity even if it is all too quickly overshadowed by “Right Now” which is another urgent, danceable blues rocker.
It is followed by "Boom Boom Boom". This too while not unexpected for a female blues singer remains Zirbes own and is still quite catchy. The next number is “Don’t Miss Love” which is a fun track that musically manages to speak for itself even in the midst of everything else here.
“Stateside” is another early favorite of the critics and the military on whom it focuses. It includes some noteworthy horn play. Another early fan favorite is “Reason for the Blues” which seems to make a musical statement for the band and demonstrates how well Robertson and Zucca play off each other.
“That Fool” is another track where the brass shines and the listener once more hears how the artists blend and yet stand on their own. The album end-note is the almost bittersweet “Better Way”. It has a great ragtime touch to it and works well as the closing cut to this collection on jazz, R&B and soul-tinged blues-rock.