Front: Willy Braun (lead vocals, rhythm guitar). From left: Cody Braun (fiddle, mandolin, tenor guitar, harmony vocals), David Abeyta (lead guitar), Joe Miller (bass guitar), and Jay Nazz (drums, percussion). (Photo credit Cassandra Weyandt )
“It’s basically a rock band with a fiddle. That’s what we tell people.”
That’s how lead singer Willy Braun describes Reckless Kelly. The 17- years-strong band plays its first-ever Roswell gig Nov. 1 at the Liberty.
Reckless Kelly has recently been a magnate for accolades. Its last studio album, Good Luck & True Love, was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album sacked four Lone Star Music Awards and three singles from it reached #1 on Texas Radio.
The Nov. 1 show is part of an eight-day tour throughout the southwest. The band started touring in August to promote their new album, Long Night Moon.
Neil Gallagher, the band’s business manager, said the band has hit the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, Northeast and Southeast, in addition to performing in the band’s “key markets” in it’s home base of Texas.
Reckless Kelly’s five members have resided in Austin for the bulk of their time as an ensemble. Lead singer Willy Braun and his brother, Cody, started the band in Bend, Ore., with drummer Jay Nazz.
The band is known for high energy shows. Willy told the Daily Record he isn’t sure what to expect, though, when the band plays in Roswell.
“It kind of depends on what the crowd and the venue look like when we get there, but it will be fun,” he said.
He said the song lineup will include songs from the band’s new studio album, the eighth that it has produced, as well as old favorites. He said the band might throw some acoustic songs in the middle of the set.
The Braun brothers grew up in Idaho and were raised on Texas musical artists like Steve Earl and Guy Clark. That country rock influence can be heard in music by Reckless Kelly.
When Willy was 5 and Cody was 6, the two started playing in a family band with their father and two younger brothers. The band was named Muzzie Braun and the Boys. Muzzie is father Braun’s nick name.
“We all started to play music as soon as we were old enough to hold instruments,” said Willy.
The brothers are multi-talented musicians. Willy plays rhythm guitar in addition to singing. Cody plays fiddle, mandolin and tenor guitar, and provides harmony vocals.
After almost a decade in the family band, the brothers set out to start their own.
Reckless Kelly is named for Ned Kelly, an Australian bank robber known as the Robin Hood of Down Under. Since Reckless Kelly came to life, band members have lived their lives ducking in and out of tours.
Being on the road is a theme that weaves through Reckless Kelly’s albums, but not until Long Night Moon has an entire album been devoted to it.
On the band’s website, recklesskelly.com, Willy Braun says, “About halfway through writing this record, I noticed that almost all of the songs I was writing, whether they were songs about the road, life, or love, had something to do with traveling. It started as an accident and I decided to just go with it. Before we knew it, there was a definite theme.”
Tickets for the Roswell show cost $15 and are on sale now at http://thelibertyinc.com/event/152260. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. The band plays in Santa Fe Nov. 2.