Understanding the virtuosity of Reckless Kelly requires the perspective of where the band has been. Cody and Willy Braun grew up in the White Cloud Mountains of Idaho. They moved to Bend, Oregon, and then migrated to that great musical fountainhead, Austin, Texas.
The band’s cofounders and frontmen toured the country when they were children, as part of their father’s band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys. They performed on The Tonight Show twice. Their father taught his four sons professional ethics—integrity, persistence, hard work, and professionalism—honed over three generations. They overcame hardships, struggled for recognition, and learned the lessons of the trial and error that defined them.
In one sense, it is remarkable in the way of any musician, athlete, or businessperson who bucks the odds. In another, though, it is utterly natural that Reckless Kelly, born in the dreams of the two Braun brothers and their heritage but nurtured in the bumpy road of maturity, became the very essence of Americana music in all its far-flung glory. “We came along in that second wave of the movement,” Cody Braun says. “Son Volt’s album Trace had a major effect on us. People like Joe Ely, Ray Kennedy and Robert Earl Keen were always big supporters. Our goal was to make music that had a country vibe but a solid rock edge.”
In the end, all the recipe required was to just add water. Water facilitates life. It enriches the soul. As MusicRow magazine proclaimed, “In my perfect world, this is what country radio would sound like.”
The Austin-based band were Americana before there really was such a term.
—A Taste of Country
Balancing country and rock, their songs center around affecting song craft, rousing and emotional melodies, and dynamic musicianship that never fails to satisfy.
—The Daily Country
Reckless Kelly has become one of the highest-profile bands associated with what is referred to as Texas Music.