Reckless Kelly

Reckless Kelly
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These are very good times for Reckless Kelly. With the release of BULLETPROOF in 2008, the Austin-based roots rockers known for the integrity of their musical approach, the hard-core energy of their live shows and the fierce loyalty of their fans turned up the intensity on their career. The album quickly became the band’s biggest seller, hitting the Billboard 200 and reaching the Top 25 of the magazine’s Top Country Albums chart. It contained the band’s first #1 on both the Texas and Americana charts, “Ragged as the Road,” and earned it a nomination as Best Band or Duo at the 2009 Americana Music Awards, a show that put Reckless Kelly on stage with the country’s best at the Ryman Auditorium. BULLETPROOF also featured “American Blood” and “God Forsaken Town,” widely regarded songs that link Reckless Kelly to a workingclass tradition of socially conscious music that stretches from Woody Guthrie to Bruce Springsteen. The fact that “God Forsaken Town” was written by Reckless Kelly singer-songwriter Willy Braun with Robert Earl Keen is symbolic of the fact that the band’s standing among its peers has never been higher. The respect band members have earned from everyone from Steve Earle to Kevin Welch can be summarized by Joe Ely, who called Reckless Kelly “my kind of band: hellraising, hard-playing, kick-ass songwriting, feet firmly in the present, but with an amazing knowledge of where it has all come from.” It is praise that reverberates especially well in the context of the group’s latest work. With new album, SOMEWHERE IN TIME, Reckless Kelly digs deep into its roots, revisiting the music of Pinto Bennett, who with his band the Famous Motel Cowboys influenced a generation of musicians in the Northwest and served as a mentor and idol to Braun and his brother, Cody, whose fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and vocal work help propel Reckless Kelly. In the company of their bandmates — David Abeyta on lead guitar and lap steel, Jay Nazz on drums, and Chris Schelske on bass — the Brauns explore their country influences and re-introduce Bennett’s music to a new generation of fans while placing their indelible, rock-edged stamp on it. “While this is Pinto’s material, this is very much a Reckless Kelly record. It’s simply a bunch of great songs we thought people should hear,” explains Cody. “A lot of Texas bands have been pushing country more toward rock,” says Nazz, “but to go back to playing real country music turned out to be extremely rewarding for us as a band.” Adds Willy: “It’s not too far a departure from what we’ve done in the past, but it reminds me of the old days when we were playing four sets a night, doing a lot more honky-tonk stuff, playing the real dance halls.” Highlights from the new record include “You Cared Enough to Lie,” a honky-tonk masterpiece tailor-made for the stage; the tragedy of “The Ballad of Elano DeLeon”; and “Some People’s Kids,” which updates the kind of rock-country hybrid explored on the West Coast beginning in the late ’60s. Instrumentally, the project kicks up the classic country flourishes — there is steel guitar on seven tracks — but their in-the-pocket rhythm section, Cody’s fiddle and mandolin, the crisp guitars, and raw energy are all pure Reckless Kelly. Much in the way that Waylon Jennings found his narrative voice through the words and songs of Billy Joe Shaver on the classic album HONKY TONK HEROES, SOMEWHERE IN TIME finds Reckless Kelly using Bennett’s songs as a tool to illuminate another aspect of its true artistic identity. Bennett himself joined the band in the studio for two tracks (“He did ’em in one take,” says Willy), as did former Bennett cohorts like guitarist Sergio Webb, guitarist-engineer Rob Matson and Teddy Ray Jones, who joined Cody for some twin fiddle work. “Even though it’s a little different from our other albums,” says Nazz, “it never felt forced or outside our comfort zone. It always felt pretty natural, and I think you can hear that.” The project is the perfect gateway to understanding the life and music that have been inextricably bound since the Brauns’ boyhoods near Challis, Idaho. Their grandfather, professional musician Musty Braun, passed his love of music to their father, Muzzie, whose family western swing band eventually included Willy, Cody and their brothers Micky and Gary. “Our mother was the only person in the family that didn’t play anything,” Willy says, and she served as the band’s road manager. The family act played everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” By their teen years, the Braun brothers were bringing a host of other influences to their music, and as they formed their own band they drew on the practical wisdom that existed in the very lives of their father and his friends. “They showed us you could make records on your own,” says Cody. “You didn’t have to have a label. You could make your own records and T-shirts, hire a publicist and do everything on your own. It’s how we started, knowing we could make a living doing it.” After a period performing in the Northwest, they moved to Austin, whose artist-friendly atmosphere and egalitarian club scene proved to be the most fertile possible soil. “The college kids and the party scene helped amplify everything,” says Cody. “The live show came around to a real party atmosphere, just having fun and getting people to whoop it up.” Reckless Kelly’s 1998 debut, MILLICAN, brought the twang, the energy and the hooks together, earning the band four Austin Music Awards for Best Roots Rock act. Each new record swelled its fan base and widened its geographic impact. “With every new album,” says Willy, “we’ve exceeded the sales of the last one, and every time we go into the studio we try to raise the bar on production and the quality of songs. And each time a few more radio stations play our music and more people come to shows.” With increased visibility has come the opportunity to give back, and 2009 saw the group’s first Celebrity Softball Jam raise $30,000 for Austin youth charities. In addition to appearances at military base benefits, it has launched Reckless Soldiers, using its Web site to help military personnel connect with family, friends and supporters. Whether it’s dedication to charity work, playing live or the art of writing a timeless tune, Reckless Kelly is tireless in its pursuit of excellence. This attitude and near legendary propensity for a good time ensures band members’ success as artists. The SOMEWHERE IN TIME project is no exception. “I think this time,” adds Willy, “we did again what we always set out to do: make a record we can be proud of.”
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07/14/2010 - Reckless Kelly's muse - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 368

Reckless Kelly  06/23/2008            
This CD is amazing. RK does it again.
Reckless Kelly  06/22/2008            
2 more friekin days i cant wait to put ragged as the road on my ipod. ive heard that song a few times on the radio and it is AMAZING!
Reckless Kelly  06/22/2008            
There isn't a bad song on the whole cd. It's really good and it will be in my player for a long time!
Reckless Kelly  06/21/2008            
truth is it doesn't matter if youre an elephant or a jackass, a song is not worth a damn if it doesnt piss you off, make you laugh, cry, or at least make you think. ive never understood what was so horrible about wanting the american military out of harms way, but thats not even the point. its just a song dude.
Reckless Kelly  06/19/2008            
gotta say RK is my favorite band, but when I heard American Blood I was dissappointed in RK, I will still buy the cd just cuz I know I will love the rest of the songs. I just wish that their political song wasnt so blantalty obvious and was used in metaphors more like Creedence Clearwater Revival did in some of theirs also just bought THE Day of the website its a great cd
Reckless Kelly  06/18/2008            
think before you speak
jason your ignorant. have you ever heard of all these construction companies and security companies who are tied in with these politicians. this war has become a multi billion dollar business for these folks at the cost of american lives
Reckless Kelly  06/17/2008            
jason m
"people in Washington making a lot of money on this war at the expense of the 30,000+ American soldiers who have been killed or injured on the frontlines" Who? I am openminded, but I still don't think to many Americans are making a profit over killed or injured soldiers. I think they wrote this song not knowing anything at all about this war or any war fought in the past. Still love em though.
Reckless Kelly  06/17/2008            
It's another great record by by Reckless Kelly. Funny how some folks pick one song out and pull it from every direction if it stirs up that much of a debate then the writer did his job He made you think and form an opinion. Thats Music, Thats Life
Reckless Kelly  06/16/2008            
Love this band, have every cd and see them every time their around my town. You scratching morons that are talking poop about the American Blood song which is a great song need to shut the hell up and go back to ur panzy music bands ur listening to!!!!!!!!!!! Reckless Kelly Rocks. Great drinkin music also.
Reckless Kelly  06/16/2008            
Thanks for proving my point with "here's a link to the lyrics". Check back in when you've actually bothered to listen to the song. You're review(s) should be deleted for being placed without ever listening to the music. Speaking of, this is a music site, not a political one. There are millions out there for your blathering pleasure in that arena.
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