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MP3 Kelly Overdrive - 827

Personal songwriting and eclectic arrangements bring classic rock back to life in this debut album.

11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Classic Rock, ROCK: Extended Jams

The title of Kelly Overdrive''s "827" comes from an address where three of the original band members grew up. Back then 827 served as the birthplace of the band. The music is an eclectic mix of rock with various influences. The songs on the album are about life in the old neighborhood and how dealing with lost relationships help a man to move on with his life as he leaves "827". We now invite you to read the biography of the beginnings of "Kelly Overdrive":

Before Fairmount was conquered by the yuppie, it was a working class neighborhood of mainly Irish and Italian families who proudly called it home. The Battestelli Family was one such clan. They and their business establishment, Terry''s Kitchen, were a neighborhood staple. It was a focal point for the neighborhood and the four Battestelli Brothers: Eric, Henry, Jay, and Jim.

Besides having a knack for baseball, all four brothers could play music. Jay, Henry, Danny Flaherty: a Fairmount neighborhood friend, and a South Philly guy with a penchant for surf guitar, named Paul Curcio, started a band called St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Cool name, cooler sound. The young bucks fused their roots: punk, surf, metal, and grunge, while honing their skills above the family restaurant. Eventually, Danny left and was replaced by youngest brother Jim Battestelli on drums. Gigs happened along with dreams of making it big. But, youth plus success tends to yield tension and trouble. Thus, the guys began to ponder their future together and slowly but surely they drifted apart.

Enter oldest brother, Eric. Of all the brothers, he was the only one formally schooled in music. He had an idea for a band - with the intensity and energy of the ''Grenadines'' - but one that would incorporate his musical influences: 70''s rock and pop, singer/songwriter style, and classical music. The guys needed a new name.

Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River were a baseball throw from the restaurant. It was a gathering place for the family. For Eric, it was also a place where he found writing inspiration, as well as the love of his life. So, to pay homage to these very Philadelphia roots, Kelly Overdrive was born.

Eric on lead guitar and vocals. Henry on bass. Paul on rhythm guitar. Jim on drums. They picked up right where St. Vincent and the Grenadines left off. Gigs began: Doc Watson''s, The Hollywood Bistro, The Fire, The Mill Creek Tavern. An album was started. Things picked up so much that Henry had to leave. His new career and a new marriage were now center stage in his life. So, Paul moved over to bass.

Frank Baldino had become friends with the guys through Danny Flaherty, the first ''Grenadines'' drummer. He would regularly attend the famous Monday Night hangouts on Tulip Street, in North East Philly, at Eric and Henry''s house. Eric and he would talk music a lot - Frank preaching his love of jazz. He just so happened to play guitar. So, before long he was a part of the band, providing a rookie enthusiasm to things.


Jim, the drummer and a major creative force for Kelly Overdrive, was in a horrifying car accident that left him clinging to life. Questions abounded: Would he wake up? Would he walk and talk again? A dark time for the band and the Battestelli Family...

Something needed to be done to help with the rising hospital costs for Jim''s care. Also, the family needed healing - an outlet for their pain and frustration. So, at Jim''s bedside, the idea for a benefit for Jim, featuring Kelly Overdrive, was born. They would have it in Fairmount...In their neighborhood...At the old grade school...And with a little help, Jim would be there, awake.

Frank had an old friend, Sean Merrigan, who played drums. Sean paid his dues musically over the years. He played many a VFW hall and dive bar in his day. Like Frank, Sean had an affection for jazz. In addition, he digged Reggae and Rockabilly. As a gracious favor to Frank and the Battestelli Family, whom he had not even met at that point, Sean took on the tremendous task of playing the benefit.

So, the guys: Eric, Paul, Frank, and Sean, with but two months to get ready, forged ahead...And they had a motivating factor - Jim awoke from his coma.

Needless to say, they got ready just fine and then some. The benefit was a financial and emotional (and musical) success. Friends, family, and strangers from far around came to the aid of Jim. All was right in the world again.

After months of rehab and hard work, Jim is once again able to play his beloved drums. His fire and creative drive burns more intense than ever before. The band eagerly awaits his new ideas with each practice and is very grateful to have him back home. And Sean has moved onward in his life''s path in pursuit of his academic and career goals. The band is forever indebted for his creative contributions and very thankful for his friendship.

So, Kelly Overdrive is thriving. And continues to grow and play around Philadelphia - but they are never really that far from Terry''s Kitchen in Fairmount.

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