Kelly Dalton
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Kelly Dalton

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Not the Loudest"

In junior high, Kelly Dalton started writing songs and playing in bands and then began gigging, touring, and recording in his teens and 20s.

“In the late ’90s I was in a punk band called Kingpin, and one night my drummer and I met Angelo from Fishbone at a local dive bar,” says Dalton. “Fishbone was a big influence on me in high school, so I was pretty excited to be drinking and talking music at my dive bar. We had a little after-party at our house/rehearsal studio, and he ended up jamming and partying with us all night. I don’t remember the last couple hours of the night.

“When I woke up, I wasn’t sure if it all really happened until I walked out in the living room, and he was snoring on our couch. He heard me walking around, woke up, and asked what happened last night. I told him I wasn’t too sure, either. We figured we’d smoke some pot and try to figure it out. An hour later I drove him home, which was his parents’ house in the suburbs.”

Dalton left the band scene in 2005 to reassess his musical life. He cashed in the big amps and electric guitars for an acoustic six-string and an upright piano. He’s now a solo act.

Kelly Dalton performs at Lestat’s in Normal Heights on Thursday, May 28.


“I have two main acoustic guitars that I play. My main one is a ’70s twelve-string Alvarez with only six strings on it. I love it because the neck is larger than a usual six-string, and it fits my abnormally big hands perfectly. My dad plays guitar too, and hits the local pawnshops all the time up where he lives in Oxnard [California]. One day about five years ago he called me and said he found a beautiful-sounding acoustic for $150. He drove it down the next day, and I’ve never used anything else live since. The one I play at home is an old beat-up Yamaha that supposedly was owned by Johnny Depp. This could be an urban myth, but the story is that Mr. Depp came to L.A with a duffle bag and a guitar. Along the way, he left it at a girl’s house who gave it to her friend who gave it to his friend and so on.”


“People talking during my set. I’m not the loudest singer in the world, so a few people having a loud conversation in a small room can sometimes overpower me. Thank God I have some good ‘shhers’ — people who ‘shh’ the crowd when I play.”


1. Yearbook Pictures. “A new great band that you’ll hear about soon.”

2. Chuck Vaughan. “Great singer/songwriter.”

3. Eyes Set to Kill. “A metal band I just coproduced.”

4. “A mix Clash CD, for obvious reasons.”

5. John Lisco. “My favorite New York singer/songwriter.”


1. The Clash, London Calling. “It was a double album with so many good songs that I’ll never get sick of.”

2. The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds. “The production Brian Wilson was doing blows me away. No one could layer those harmonies like he could.”

3. Bob Marley, any album. “I think he’s one of the most underrated songwriters ever. I’ve read a bunch of those ‘greatest songwriters’ lists, and he never gets mentioned.”


“The obvious choice is Anya Marina, but I’m going with Brandon ‘the Sideman’ Walters. He’s a great guitarist, piano player, and singer who’s played guitar with me a few times. He’s super talented, and I must say he’s quite a sexy beast.”


“I quit drinking almost a year ago, so I don’t hang out at bars so much anymore. I like hanging with my buddy Dan at Seven Seas Tattoo shop. Good people and incredible artists.”


“It always starts out fine — I’m at a professional baseball game having a good ol’ time, then somehow I fall off the top level and wake up right before I land on top of the crowd in the section below me. Happens almost every month.”


“I really like playing benefit shows, not just for the cause but to share the stage with a lot of talented people all together in one night. The best one I remember was a Christmas toy drive at the Hotel Cafe in L.A. with Ben Harper, Sara Bareilles, Brett Dennen, Cary Brothers, Joshua Radin, Meiko, and others.”


“I can’t remember the name of the venue — maybe I deleted it from my memory — but it was a solo acoustic show in Hartford, Connecticut. It happened to be in the middle of the NHL playoffs, and I think the local team had just been eliminated. Unhappy fans in hockey jerseys slamming Jäger shots didn’t particularly mix with my set.”

By Michael Hemmingson | Published Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - San Diego Weekly Reader

"CD Review"

"My favorites on this gem are "Leave This Town", "Come Again", "Coming Home" and "Save It For Me". This is about as pure in voice that I've heard from the male perspective in a long time, and not since Jackson Browne have I heard a singer/songwriter musician dig this deep about life and moving on with life. So far one of the best releases of the year. Kelly Dalton is clearly one of the more gifted singer/songwriters out there today. His ability to turn a phrase and make your heart break is beautifully complemented by melodies that leaving you humming for hours on end.
- Freddy Celis - Rootstime


LP-2007-The Love In Every Bar
LP-Released March-2010



My name is Kelly Dalton & I’m a Singer Songwriter from Southern California, Ca. This time around, rather than finding someone else to write my bio, here’s a little about me written by me. After all, who knows me better?

I was a big baby (11.5 lbs.) born in Hollywood, California at Cedars of Lebanon, to my musician parents Daniel Dalton & Lois Fletcher. Cedars of Lebanon has since been renovated and is now the Mecca of Scientology....yes, I am serious.

Throughout our childhoods, music was constantly heard throughout the house - performed, written and recorded in the presence of my brothers, sisters and I. I was always playing around on the piano and guitar trying to learn from what I'd just heard. I once tried to sing, but I was too shy, didn’t like my voice and vowed never to sing in front of people.

In Junior High, I started playing guitar, piano and writing songs. I played in bands for the next several years. I performed live all over town, toured some and recorded a few albums through 2005.

Unfortunately, in a short amount of time I lost a few people who were very close to me.

I took a deep breath and thought about my own life.

I started writing a lot of songs, except this time, I was going to sing them. Songs from the heart. I traded in the heavy amps & loud guitars for an acoustic guitar and an old upright piano. It was time to get over my stage fright.

Soon I was playing every open mic in Los Angeles I could find. After a month or so, bar and club owners asked to book me, so I assembled a band and started singing and playing my own music.

I found my home at a little known singer songwriter venue called "The Hotel Cafe" where I played a few times a month, built a loyal following and befriended many other musicians who also felt at home there.

One afternoon, with Producer Jon Ingoldsby. I recorded a live version of the first song I wrote for myself, called “Worth It All”. I posted it free online and received thousands of downloads, comments and inspiration to continue.

With the support of producers Thom Flowers & Emile Millar, I recorded my first album with some great local musicians (members of Ryan Adams, Aimee Mann, Dwight Yoakum). I independently released my debut album “The Love In Every Bar”.

Without any promotion or press, I received some national exposure and had over 100 reviews in European magazines and music websites. I also had a couple songs hit college radio, Pandora online radio & started popping up on some international folk charts. I was placed on the soundtrack for best selling author James Patterson’s Maximum Ride trilogy & a few compilation albums.

I toured on a regular basis and continued to play The Hotel Café a lot.


Last year I recorded a 6 song acoustic EP titled “Home” with Producer Thom Flowers up in Santa Barbara, Ca. Some of my live band buddies Cisco Deluna (dobro, accordion) & Ben Pringle (organs, harmonies) came in to play and added their magic. Also, my friend and fellow singer/songwriter Holly Brook completed it by adding her beautiful voice on a few tracks.

In 2009, I co-wrote & remixed a song for Katy Perry’s upcoming album and also co-produced/co-wrote the new Eyes Set To Kill album "The World Outside" which peaked at 9 on Billboards Heatseekers chart.

In the summer of 2009, ESPN’s annual televised ESPY Awards opened the show with a montage featuring some of my music along w/ U2 & Coldplay. My song “Golden Days” played for over a minute as images of sports figures who had passed away were honored.

I recently spent several days working on a video for my song, "Let Me In" & I’m currently in production on a new full-length album slated for an early 2010 release.

Feel free to email me or say hello wherever I may be playing and always remember - never be afraid to stop…..and take your own deep breath.