Reckless Kelly | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Reckless Kelly performing during the Reckless Kelly's Farewell Tour at the Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Texas on June 29, 2024, with Willy Braun, Cody Braun, Ryan Engleman, Jay Nazz, and Joe Miller. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Reckless Kelly, the powerhouse Americana/Red-Dirt band, has been lighting up stages with their electrifying blend of rock and country music since their formation in 1996. Led by Idaho natives Willy and Cody Braun, the brothers carry on a musical legacy that spans three generations.

Venturing from their Idaho roots, the Brauns established their mark in Austin, TX, twenty-nine years ago, teaming up with drummer Jay Nazz. Nazz's decision to join the band, just five credits shy of a college degree, marked the beginning of a journey that would transform Texas's musical landscape. Over nearly three decades, Reckless Kelly has become an integral part of the Americana music scene, earning prestigious accolades, including a GRAMMY Award and the title of Outlaw Group of the Year at the 2024 Ameripolitan Awards.

The band's influence extends beyond their acclaimed recordings. Their annual festival, The Braun Brothers Reunion, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2024. The three-day event in Challis, Idaho, brings incredible artists to Cody and Willy’s hometown and raises significant funds for the local community.

The band is set to release their next studio album, The Last Frontier, later this year and has embarked on the 2024-2025 tour of the same name. Alongside the core trio of Willy and Cody Braun and Jay Nazz, they are joined by Joe Miller on bass and Geoffrey Queen on lead guitar and pedal steel.

At the end of 2025, the band will begin a new chapter, stepping back from traditional touring. They still plan to write, record, and release new music as Reckless Kelly during this hiatus. They will perform a handful of special live events while focusing on exciting solo projects, visual art, record production, and management endeavors.

Lead singer Willy Braun explains the band's decision: “It’s important to us that our fans know we all still truly love playing together. At first glance, it looks like a full-scale ‘retirement,’ but that’s not exactly accurate. We’ll continue to record music and perform live occasionally, but after 30 years on the road, we are looking forward to pulling back the reins a bit, spending more time at home, and exploring our other interests.” His brother Cody adds, “The satisfaction of playing a great show to an enthusiastic audience is something that can’t be duplicated. We invite fans to come out and celebrate with us on this tour as we move in this new direction.”
Fan reviews:

Great band! I’ve seen Reckless Kelly several times and they just seem to get better each time.

Reckless Kelly was incredible!

Amazing! The acoustics are amazing. Reckless Kelly was over the top! So glad I got to see them again!

Awesome show! Great venue, show was spectacular! Looking forward to seeing them again!

Best concert of my life. Reckless is the soundtrack to my life.

Awesome as ever. Hard to believe this is the last tour. Their sound and the live show is unmatchable. The Braun brothers' performance is far above most shows. The band is equally as good, perfect recipe for some of the best stories told through music.
Reckless Kelly was the main act at the Whitewater Amphitheater with guests Steve Earle and Courtney Patton. They continue across the United States with the last stop at the Knuckleheads in Kansas City, Missouri on October 12, 2024.

Reckless Kelly
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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