Bat-Or Kalo is a strong musical personality from Israel, a talented singer and guitarist (now active in the United States), who chose the blues as a means of expression, and judging from this test is absolutely on the right track ... For completeness, we say that musically, and also to the type of arrangements, the content of this album is perhaps more p a kind of "bluesy-pop" than it is pure blues, although some guitar riffs and overall atmosphere make it still very interesting for the blues purist ... By sampling, we were impressed with "Treat Me Bad," "March to The Light" (very upbeat with a nice grip) and "Marie," a beautiful ballad with piano by Jon Knudson to hold the game. "Oh Father ", a kind of boogie with harmonica player Todd Clark in the foreground. Even "Looking For Me", with a nice mix of slide guitar, banjo and violin and a skillful balance of dynamics."Once I Had A Heart," with an interesting guitar unison and voice over distorted bass from Mack McKinney, and finally the powerful cover of "Like it Or Not", a song written in more hands, including those of Madonna, who made it a success a decade ago."
- IL Blues (Italy)
"The album contains fourteen numbers which range from the Hill Country influenced title number which is a plea not to be left alone, especially at night, it delightfully incorporates strangled and distorted vocals combined with a strident, tramping and chopping echoing rockabilly fuzz guitar that creates a powerful atmosphere of desperation and fear. A defiant “March To The Light”, uses a charged mixture of prison farm chanting and field holler vocals as the stomping percussion is joined by a shivering tambourine alongside the stoic picking of a crisp and clear dobro leading the way. Another crisply ringing rocker is “Oh Father”, where a poor wretch is wailing and confessing their sins to the accompaniment of a searing and surging guitar and a steaming train like urging harmonica. “Down, Down, Down”, is a rocking little shuffle that has at its core a very engaging and pleasantly tight jazz-rich resurging guitar break that wonderfully goes on and on like any good thrill should. Another Hill Country flavoured number is the stomping “Looking For Me”, the heavenly mixture of banjo twanging and manic fiddling combine splendidly with the sweetly wailing vocals that urgently invite your toes to tap. The almost dirge like echoing vocals and fuzz guitar of “Once I had a Heart “, lead you into a viscous dirty surging mixture of organ and guitar that tries to rise to the heavens. One of the numbers that possess a welcoming, tender and tranquil ambience is “Goodbye”, where a gently surgin’, twangin’ guitar fuses with a vocal that is more akin to the open prairie entreaties of K.D. Lang. This is a welcome and refreshing approach to the world of blues."
- Brian Harman, Bits Blues in the South (UK)
"Kalo cannot be blamed if anyone does not truly understand her methods and motivations on Dear John, her recent release, offering full disclosure on album track, “Like It or Not”. The words are not hers as Kalo steps to the microphone with a version of the Madonna tune, re-inventing the track with spit and snarl. The tune is the only cover on Dear John, with Kalo voicing her own songs with the same Soul and Blues heart as she backs whispers and shouts with her guitar riffs. Bat-On Kalo is an Israeli-born musician who found her calling in a Jimi Hendrix tape and a gifted electric guitar. After serving two years with Israeli Defense Forces, Kalo enrolled in OKC University to further her guitar studies in 2004. Dear John addresses its message to the world as Kalo follows military stylized percussion and harmonies into “March into the Light”. Delta Blues slides ride the patter of rhythm as “Looking for Me” heads for a highway exit while slow burning Blues sears the pain into “Treat Me Bad” and gently cradles its partner for a dance with “Goodbye”. Kalo immersed herself in Mississippi music when she traveled to the Magnolia State to create Dear John with the sounds of Dixie and the Delta, Kalo gets her audio diploma from the results of Dear John with the real pain of “Heartbreak”, the shuffled questioning prayers of “Oh Father”, and the quiet midnight confession of “Can’t Sleep at Night”."
"Israeli frontwoman and guitarist KALO is pure force and proof that big things come in small packages. The spritely, often beautifully gender-bending woman has lived in Oklahoma less than three (and in the United States about five) years, and her trio – made up of veteran drummer Mike Alexander and versatile bassist Mack McKinney – never sounds like only three."
"Kalo is a powerful young player brimming with chops and the attitude to succeed. As a bonus, growing up in Israel and then studying the blues literally down at the Crossroads gives her a unique perspective on just exactly what happened when that ol’ deal went down."
"In a lineup of straitlaced blues men, KALO is sure to stick out ... gender, accent and daring. KALO is part blues, part rock and jazz with a smattering of Americana – and Israeli eclecticism ... equal parts feminine and masculine, KALO can wail on a Jimi Hendrix riff and then sweetly weep on some of her quieter, more reflective tunes."
"KALO/Dear John: In which we find a white girl wit the blues taking it to the next level of the game proving that some times you just have to sit back and enjoy the back story. An Israeli lass who has finished her military stint picks up where she left off with a Jimi Hendrix cassette sending her and her electric guitar off into some zone where west side Chicago resurfaced on Mars. Multicultiured to the max, Kalo sounds more like a passed off riot grrrl than a white girl with the blues but maybe there's a crossover where it all comes together. A cutting edge piece of the nu genre. "
"I just received the most recent release, Dear John, from Kalo and it's quite interesting. Opening with title track, Dear John, Israeli born, Bat-Or Kalo leads this blues rock power band with solid driving guitar riffs and her own vocals."
"Sitting back contemplating what l just heard, l realized l was smiling going through song after song that l had just heard. it certainly was a journey that few albums could take you on, but this is something to really savour. Bat-Or Kalo isn't just another "chick with a guitar and band." No, rather, here we have sheer talent and the ability to display those immense talents. Her voice is angelic one moment and a rock banshee the next. It never once loses that uncanny musicality she possesses. As a guitarist, Kalo can hold her own against the best music has to offer. I absolutely love her band who know how to accentuate the majesty of their leader in Bat-Or Kalo. An album of this quality does not come along all that often, as there is no place to hide within it and unless the performers are of the highest caliber, then l suggest you don't attempt to emulate this album. This one has certainly left its mark on my heart.”
"What the two (KALO and McKinney) have managed here is quite simply a blues delicacy. The 14 tracks show their own interpretation of the genre and the guitar playing of the Israeli is ... enormously expressive - no matter how strong it fits into strings. Her voice seems to be made for it. The songwriting is outstanding. It is always in the direction of blues, but without sticking permanently to the 12-bar scheme.
The stylistic influences are varied, but the album is still not fragmented and does not fall apart. The conceptual arc is understandable. In addition to guitar and bass, there is the genre-typical instruments: Hammond, Drums, Harp. Where necessary, it will, for example, extended to fiddle or banjo.
KALO is currently working on a third album ...we would in the meantime indicate "Dear John" makes big appetite for more.."