Russell, Kelly & Dan
Russell, Kelly & Dan

Hello, we’re Kelly Bowlin and the Orphans. We’re an Alt-Country Rock act, call it Americana, or call it “Ugly Country.” Call it a Duck that growls like a Lion if you want to label it. We’re Steve Earle meets The Who, Gram Parsons playing a Mandolin through a Marshall Stack. Lester Flatt sitting in with Tom Petty. As a band, we’ve been together for 15 years. Longer than the Beatles!

The only rule in music these days is that there are no rules. There is no “theme” to our latest release, it’s just a collection Rock, Country, Bluegrass, and Lullaby’s. We think it’s Ugly Country or Americana, but we’re not sure. Google isn’t overly specific on the subject. At the very least, it’s what we grew up on, it’s what we play now.

We’re fully aware, that people buy “songs” these days, not albums. In our latest “compilation,” we offer a bit of everything. Pick and choose.
Seems weird putting a Lullaby next to a Rock song, but that’s what we’ve done. Mostly it’s just about the songs. We write things that move us, and the tools we use to express these “words” vary greatly. You’re gonna hear a lot of organic sounds, Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Acoustic guitars, Piano, Tire Irons, and Les Pauls run through Marshall Half-Stacks. Is it too varied? We couldn’t care less! We’re best live. Kelly, the vocalist, wouldn’t be your first choice to sing the National Anthem, in fact he’d never make it past the first cut at American Idol. That’s okay, you want that type of thing, there’s plenty floating around, just not here.

We were originally called “The Kelly Bowlin Band,” but that slowly morphed into Kelly Bowlin and The Orphans.

We’re based in Los Angeles, yet should be playing Texas and Oklahoma.
That’s our fault, the weather’s made us far too complacent. Kelly’s family roots are from South Kentucky, Bluegrass country, home of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, but as a band, we pretty much all grew up on straight ahead Rock and Roll.

Kelly Bowlin
Russell and Kelly
Stage at Harrah’s
A gig at the House of Blues
Jim on the drums
Russell and Kelly accept an award
Russell, Kelly & Dan

We’ve released three CD’s and are proudly debuting a fourth, titled, “Are You Listening” which includes 3-specific styles we play: Americana, Alter-Ego Rock, and Softly Spoken (which includes a children’s lullaby and other love songs.) All original, all heartfelt, and all coming to a Theater, Bar, or Honkey Tonk near you.

The late great Buddy Blue of “The Beat Farmers,” (and writer for San Diego Weekly) said it best one night. We had opened for them at a club in Orange County, California, did our 40-minute set, and received a solid standing ovation. In the hallway outside of the dressing rooms, Buddy stopped me, and after asking me what my Octave Mandolin was, proceeded to say we rocked and were gonna be a tough act to follow. Meant more than anything we’d ever heard or seen.

We’ve earned some fabulous recognition over time, which you can read about in more detail on our Press page, but suffice it to say that we’re a good band, no, we’re a great band. We bring a sound that’s hard to classify, which is the way we like it. In 2004 we won the Orange County Music Award for Best Classic Rock Band, and a year later won Best Americana at The Riverside County Music Awards, and THEN, a year later won Best Roots Rock Band at the prestigious Southern California Music Awards Show at the fabulous Grand Theater in San Pedro, California.

So take a look, have a listen, come see us live, tell us what YOU think. We’d like to know. Thanks.

In addition to our Facebook fan page, we also have a presence at these sites: