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  • Ben Province

Q&A: Reckless Kelly will Bring its Country-Rock Sound to Delmar Hall

Reckless Kelly released its latest studio album, "Sunset Motel," in 2016, but it won't be their newest album for long. The five-piece country-rock band will release a live album, "Bulletproof Live," June 21, and a new studio album isn't far behind.

Founded by brothers Willy and Cody Braun, Reckless Kelly moved from its hometown of Stanley, Ore. to Austin, Texas in 1996, where the group's still going strong more than two decades later. The two siblings come from a musically-talented family. Muzzie Braun, their father, performed on national television, and brothers Micky and Gary are in the band Micky & the Motorcars.

St. Louis fans can see Reckless Kelly, which also features Matt Gracy, Joe Miller and Jay Nazz, at Delmar Hall on June 2. Tickets are on sale now.

Ben Province: It's been a few years since fans have gotten a new record from the band. What can you tell me about this "special new project" coming out later this year?

Cody Braun: Last year was the 10-year anniversary of our best-selling record to date, "Bulletproof." We wanted to do something special around the 10 year-anniversary of the 2008 release, so we decided to re-record the entire album live. The record is a combination of all the songs from "Bulletproof," plus one extra song, all recorded live all over the Northwest and West Coast last summer, 2018.

We pulled the best performances of the tunes from varied nights, and this recording is 100% live with no fixes: no vocal tuning and no overdubs. It’s an old school, bootleg approach to making a true live record. It was recorded by our sound man, Taylor Harrell, and mixed by our guitar player, and 19-year bandmate, David Abeyta. David mixed and EQ’d everything, but let the tracks speak for themselves. Early this year, David decided to give up the road in order to spend more time at home with his family, so this recording is the band's last live recording with David, and is a great representation of the band's last 20 years on the road together. We also have a new studio record in the can that we plan to release early next year.

BP: In the meantime, concert-goers can pick up tickets to your upcoming show at Delmar Hall. What do you enjoy most about stopping by St. Louis on a tour?

CB: Hopefully the Cards will be in town, and we can catch a game! If not, we always love hitting the local watering holes and restaurants with our friends.

BP: To rewind a little, you got your start as a musician in your dad's band. What was it like performing on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in the late '80s with him?

CB: It was pretty surreal. We didn’t really know what a big deal it was until it was over and we got back home. Then we knew it was a big deal.

BP: How did playing in that band prepare you for the 20-plus years of Reckless Kelly that would follow?

CB: We learned everything we know now and more from our dad. He booked the gigs, had his own record label and did everything from setting up the PA to road managing the band. Mom was a huge part of this as well. Learning how the business worked on all levels really gave us a head start when we started our own band.

BP: "Sunset Motel" had one of the best chart debuts in your discography. What does that mean to you?

CB: It's great to know people are listening to your music and that all the years of hard work is paying off.

BP: You have a lot of roles in Reckless Kelly, playing mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, and you also do some singing. Do you have a favorite instrument to play?

CB: I prefer the fiddle when jamming with friends, but the electric mandolin has allowed me to develop my own style and keep up with the band's more rock 'n' roll tunes. It's fun to change it up.

Interview was conducted by email, and has been edited. For more interviews, check out our podcast.


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