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KALO is a blues and R&B tinged rock band formed by firecracker female
singer/songwriter/guitarist Bat-Or Kalo
with bassist Mack McKinney.
The members of the trio first met and played together over a brief time in the early 2000s before parting ways. But their paths soon reconnected.
For Bat-Or, everything started with a Jimi Hendrix cassette tape and a gift of an electric guitar that put her on a musical course. Her artistic family encouraged her to follow an artist’s path. So she did.
Following high school, Bat-Or, like most Israelis her age, joined the Israeli Defense Forces for two years. After completing her service, Bat-Or enrolled in college to study music. She moved to the U.S. in 2004 to study guitar at Oklahoma City University.
After graduation, Bat-Or returned to Israel and, in 2009, released her first album, “Flesh and Bones,” recorded at Bardo Recording Studios near Tel Aviv. With the finished copy of the album in her hands, an inspired Bat-Or followed her dream and moved to New York City, where she honed her skills as a musician and met many friends who encouraged and challenged her. She started writing “Goodbye,” a song for her second album, while walking the Williamsburg Bridge, a suspension bridge spanning the East River and connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan with Brooklyn.
As the seeds of what would become her sophomore album began taking root, Bat-Or travelled to Mississippi in 2012 to write and create in a part of the country that had always inspired her music.
Synchronicity worked its magic, reconnecting McKinney and Bat-Or for a southern states tour. The two had first met while Bat-Or was at Oklahoma City University.Bat-Or and McKinney moved the recording of her second album to Studio Seven in Oklahoma City, and “Dear John,” was released in October 2013. For live shows, Worrell was brought in to complete the trio, a welcome addition, as he’d also played with Bat-Or and McKinney before.
KALO plays frequently throughout the Heartland and is working on a third studio album. Bat-Or’s unique history lends to a distinctive sound that’s beguiled audiences from Oklahoma City to New York, Austin to Mississippi, and many places in between. And with McKinney on bass and Worrell on drums, the sound is electric, genre bending, and infectious.
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.
Worrell grew up in the Oklahoma City metro, and for him, drumming is a family affair. His older brother is also a professional drummer, and Worrell’s love for the rhythm and time developed watching him perform. The largely self-taught musician has quickly become known as one of the best drummers around, and his funky style makes watching performances of KALO even more enjoyable.
In 2014, KALO was featured in several statewide and regional media sources, including an article in The Oklahoman, on KSBI-TV, on OETA, as well as in Arkansas Life magazine. The band also won the prestigious Wichita Blues Challenge, securing a space to compete at the world renowned International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. in 2015.
KALO can be seen on great stages in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and frequently at musical hubs in Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas as well.