It was bound to happen eventually. Reckless Kelly was in Music City with a few days off between shows, and Willy Braun, guitarist and lead singer of the band, graciously came to the offices of Nashville Music Guide for an interview. He and I had a great conversation about the band’s history and their latest release, Good Luck & True Love, and I taped the whole thing.
And then my computer ate it.
The file is there, but any time I try to play it back, the recording kindly gives me the finger. So much for the “good luck” promised by the album.
Technical difficulties aside, Braun and I began the interview with questions about the band’s history at the end of their 15th year together. He answered candidly about the fact that he, his brother Cody Braun, and the rest of the band were counting on the band’s success when they moved to Austin in 1996 because playing music was the only thing they knew how to do. Formed in Oregon, the band relocated to hone their chops in the live music capital of the world, and they filled small clubs on historic 6th street to capacity with their energetic live shows. Their first album, Millican, quickly followed and they haven’t slowed down since.
Braun noted that the music business has changed quite a bit in the band’s 15-year existence, and they’ve been quick to adapt to the changes in technology without losing focus on their music. The key for Reckless Kelly has been their involvement every aspect of their albums. Every song the band has recorded has been written or co-written by Braun (with the exception of 2010’s Somewhere In Time, which was a collection of songs written by Pinto Bennett, a songwriter who directly influenced Reckless Kelly’s music). They also take care of their own promotion through social media and other traditional avenues. And because the band does everything themselves, they abandoned their label whose services they didn’t need. Good Luck & True Love was released on their newly formed label, No Big Deal Records.
The album, the band’s seventh, contains little good luck or true love as promised by the title. When I mentioned the lack of true love in the lyrics of a song like “She Likes Money, He Likes Love” (“They’ll stay together till they find something better/She likes money, he likes love”) and the lack of good luck in the lyrics of “Give It A Try” (“It doesn’t make much sense and I know it won’t fly/But we might as well give it try”), Braun laughed and said that he and the rest of the band didn’t think about that when the band chose the title for the album.
Good Luck & True Love is what fans have come to expect from Reckless Kelly: catchy songs that straddle the genres of rock and country without compromising either style. The album also has incredible packaging serving as incentive to those who still buy hard copies of albums. Inside you’ll find some a spinning fortune telling arrow and a filmstrip that features Braun saving a damsel in distress from his brother who’s tried her to the railroad tracks.
But anyone who buys a digital copy of the album won’t be disappointed; there isn’t a weak track on the record.
To hear tracks from the album and for more information about the band, check out recklesskelly.com
By Andrew Miller