On September 23, Reckless Kelly will celebrate their 20th anniversay with the release Sunset Motel, their first album with Thirty Tigers and follow up their Grammy Award winning 2013 release Long Night Moon.
“The Austin-based band were Americana before there really was such a term, combining roots, rock and country influences into an uncompromising musical approach that has earned the Grammy-winning group a very steadfast and loyal following.”
Previously, Rolling Stone Country premiered “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him),” the first single to be released from the album, and said
“Sunset Motel finds the band in familiar musical territory — bounding fearlessly between the sounds of jangling heartland rock and scrappy, hardscrabble country, with stories that refuse to dumb themselves down for mass appeal.”
Sunset Motel is now available for pre-order and includes an instant downloads of “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)” and “Who’s Gonna Be Your Baby Now.”
Taking their handle from the nickname given to the legendary Australian highwayman Ned Kelly, brothers Willy & Cody Braun along with founding member and drummer Jay Nazz, moved to Austin in 1996 where they quickly carved out a niche of their own. Inspired by the outlaw country scene — musicians like Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, and others who helped redefine the notion of contemporary country — they took an approach that reflected that unapologetic attitude, underscoring it with a gritty, hard-edged delivery that was as compelling as it was convincing.
“We came along in that second wave of the movement,” Cody Braun notes. “Son Volt’s album Trace had a major effect on us. Our goal was to make music that had a country vibe but a solid rock edge. We were fortunate that artists like Joe Ely and Robert Earl Keen were big supporters early on.”
Born and raised in Idaho, the Braun brothers gained a love of music from their dad, a professional musician and band leader. As kids, they played in his band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys, an experience that gave them their first taste of professional showmanship. They learned those lessons firsthand from the opportunities they experienced, whether it was opening for Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard or playing on “The Tonight Show.”
Throughout the past two decades, the band has released 8 studio albums and is now rounded out by longtime guitarist David Abeyta (who has spent over 15 years with the band) and bassist Joe Miller. Beginning with Millican, 1998‘s self-released debut, Reckless Kelly emblazoned a reputation as no-nonsense insurgents capable of raising the rafters while still retaining the heart, soul and sentiment that can only come from honesty, soul and conviction. With every album that followed — Under the Table and Above the Sun (2003), Wicked Twisted Road (2005), Bulletproof (2008), Somewhere in Time (2010), the Grammy nominated Good Luck & True Love (2011) and the Grammy winning Long Night Moon (2013) — they’ve affirmed that commitment, not only in their devotion to essential Americana, but by emulating its very definition as well.
Now, the band is hitting the road behind one of their most accomplished collections to date. “Willy wrote 30 or 40 songs for the new album, and we cut about half of them,” Cody explains. “We ended up using 13 of them but there were still some good ones left on the cutting room floor.”
“We would like folks to really hear these songs, to be able to hear the lyrics and appreciate the musicianship that goes into the arrangements,” says Willy about the new release. “We want our audiences to have a good time, but we also want to show that there’s a lot more to it than that.”