Famous Last Words
Famous Last Words played their last show in January 2007. Click on the links at bottom left for Jeff\'s subsequent projects, including the Z-Trane Electric Band. Here are the original CD Baby notes for the first FLW CD: \'Fronted by dual male/female energy, FLW is that rare band that can both tenderly caress and rock like it\'s the last time. With intelligent musicality and lyrics, their debut CD is a deep and wide river of soulful anthems, lush grooves, daring guitar solos and beautifully blended harmonies. The listener is buoyed not only by the impressive improvisations of FLW, but by solid songwriting imbued with a reverence for musical history, blending rock, blues, folk, jazz, funk and gospel. Always authentic and from the heart, their more rocking songs are fun without being flippant, and the wistful ballads are sincere without being sappy. There\'s something real happening here. Rocking or slow, their music has a timeless flow that just keeps on rollin\'. \' The eponymous CD \'Famous Last Words,\' has already created a buzz in music circles. Recorded in San Francisco with Mark Pistel (Michael Franti and Spearhead, Chuck Prophet, Consolidated), it garnered 4 stars in the All Music Guide, and was featured in Relix Magazine, Independent Musician, Amplifier, and NBC TV on the series finale of \'Ed.\' With sales and airplay in both the United States and Europe, and supported by great live performances, the band has built a dedicated following. They perform regularly at many venues around the San Francisco Bay Area, including the legendary Fillmore Poster Room, and also tour across the country. They have been selected as an \'Editor\'s Pick\' for extended jams on this very website. Famous Last Words formed in 1998 when Jeff Zittrain and Kate Burkart realized a shared musical vision after years of gigging, recording, and producing other projects. Jeff is known for his passionate guitar work and literate songwriting. His chops show evidence of his having studied guitar with Bay Area masters \'Juke Joint Johnny\' Lumsdaine and Nina Gerber. Kate has moved effortlessly from lead vocalist to bass and vocals, holding up her end of the trio with solid grooves and vivid songwriting. Prior to joining FLW, Jace Bartulis made his living as a sought-after session player in L.A., and he now contributes the rock-solid pulse for the band\'s explorations. As the CD liner notes say, \'FLW have seen the void, but every song is a chance for redemption.\' Great lyrics, grooves, harmonies and exciting instrumental jams, all played as if everything is riding on each note. --------------- CD Review: by Aaron Richardson, Berkeley 2003 Famous Last Words\' first CD is out. You should get it. Here\'s why: It all starts with a \'Lullaby\' that would wake the deepest dreamer; this majestic and harmonically gorgeous pop song sets Jeff Zittrain\'s gruff, heartfelt voice and Kate Burkart\'s sweet, supple tones flickering over each other like soft flames. Both tender and anthemic, it\'s easily the most radio-friendly cut on the CD -- kind of like the Mamas and the Papas with 21st century crunch. Later, \'Sloe Hank\' identifies the late-night barroom burnout of the music life with a larger-scale American cultural hangover. Here, in a powerfully affecting near-solo performance, Jeff\'s singing and fluid acoustic picking carry the hard-earned authority of the years he\'s spent in the nightclub trenches. Elsewhere, Kate\'s rich voice and sturdy bass playing shine, or Jeff\'s fiery electric and agile acoustic guitar styles beguile. Throughout, Jace Bartulis provides limber, subtly virtuosic support. In fact, if a band with such obvious talents can be said to have a hidden star, he\'s it. Together, Famous Last Words can play crisp and tight. But their motion never comes to rest, always stretching out after that moment of divine spontaneity when the clouds part and the sunshine of inspiration casts it's warmth on the soul. There\'s something for everyone here; and if this variety can sometimes be disorienting, it nonetheless guarantees that their CD bursts with endless vitality. On it, they mark out a great swath of rock and roll territory -- from folk ballads to funky grinds, roots rock to jazzy sizzle, pop to jam -- and claim it as their own. Above all, Famous Last Words\' first CD catches the wink in their name. Far from the final word, it\'s a fluent invocation of even greater musical eloquence to come. Fold-out insert includes liner notes and lyrics. And check out FLW\'s second CD, \'Underground Acoustic\', also available at CD Baby.