Sexy guitar. Infectious rhythms. Smoky vocals. KALO is pure, heartfelt rock ‘n’ roll with just a tease of blues and roots. Everything about KALO is unexpected — and that’s exactly why they’re quickly catching the eyes and ears of music lovers and industry professionals alike.
The blues- and roots-laced rock trio has continued touring and performing shows at great U.S. stages, headlining festivals in their home state and regionally and earning a name and a following through sweat, determination and electric stage shows. Since 2013, they’ve releases three albums – Dear John, 2013; Live in NYC, 2016; Wild Change, 2017.
Within the past two years, the band has opened up for L.A.-based rocker Andy Frasco, bluesman Mr. Sipp The Mississippi Blues Child, and the godfather of British blues, John Mayall. They’ve also shared festival billing with names such as Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Father John Misty and The Avett Brothers.
Their sound? Add a sultry female voice on the White Stripes or Black Keys with a dash of Elvis and Johnny Cash. It’s music to sink your teeth into with just a tinge of blues and roots to make it familiar … And you’ve never seen a girl play guitar like this …
In 2009, Israeli singer/songwriter/guitarist Bat-Or Kalo left Israel to soak herself in the sounds of U.S. music. Her creative and musical Israeli family includes a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, famous musicians and war veterans.
After finishing her classical and jazz guitar studies and recording her jazz-imbued album, Flesh and Bones, in Tel-Aviv, Kalo moved to New York City to hone her skills as a live performer, frequenting stages like The Bitter End, Arlene’s Grocery, Rockwood Music Hall and others. In 2012, she left The Big Apple to strum her guitar and write in the heart of Dixie.
Her sophomore album, Dear John, took root in the Mississippi Delta and other southern states, where its blues tinge began to grow. Along the way, Kalo, the guitarist, became KALO, the band, adding Mack McKinney on bass, and later, Mike Alexander on the drums.
What audiences grow to love listening to KALO’s albums, they become enthralled with while watching the songs performed live. Fiery, passionate and strong, Kalo’s guitar chops and contralto voice belie her small frame, while the solid bed provided by bassist Mack McKinney and drummer Mike Alexander allows the audience to feel a heartbeat. Alexander’s electric performances alongside McKinney’s ever-steady bass provides a pocket from which the band can take off and deliver emotional and fevered performances.
A Little Rock, Ark., native, McKinney started playing guitar in his teens. He began playing bass after listening to a church bassist perform, and he’s been playing the instrument ever since. McKinney has played in punk bands and set the groove for country and rock groups, but his solid playing and backing vocals make him an important part of KALO.
Mike Alexander took on the role of primary drummer in 2015. Alexander is a seasoned drummer, and, like Kalo, has roots in jazz as a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma’s music program.
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