It's nearly pointless to rave to the chorus on the band Reckless Kelly. The valley loves them, having watched the now Austin-based band literally grow up at the feet and side of their father, cowboy musician Muzzie Braun. Braun raised four boys who all took to the family business with talent and pleasure. They spawned two bands, Reckless (Cody and Willy Braun) and Micky and the Motorcars (Micky and Gary Braun), who are also based in Austin.
But for those either new to the valley or just passing through, listen up. Reckless Kelly may be one of the greatest undiscovered-by-the-masses Americana band anywhere. Reckless' fifth CD, "Wicked Twisted Road," just adds to their renown in the alternative country scene. It's packed with crunchy vibes, poetic lyrics, party-hearty romps, virtuoso musicianship and polished rock 'n' roll.
The band—the Brauns, Jimmy McFeeley, Dave Nazziola and Dave Abeyta—won the Austin Music Awards Best Roots Rock Band three times and was named the Best New Band of the Decade in 2000.
Naturally, Reckless tours endlessly and draws crowds of loyalists to bars and clubs across the West whenever they perform. But here in Idaho, we still get to call them our own. After all, they were born and raised near Stanley, where their parents still hold down the fort.
Consummate performer Muzzie, himself the son and brother of professional musicians, and his sons toured endlessly during their childhood. Their stops included appearances at the Grand Ole Opry and "The Tonight Show," as well as annual shows in the Wood River Valley at Wagon Days events, the Braun Brother's Reunion each August in Stanley and at the Northern Rockies Folk Festival. Not a bad upbringing if you can get it.
On Father's Day, Sunday, June 19, the boys return the favor to dear-old dad by holding an inaugural event dubbed "Reckless Kelly's Wild West Music Fest" at the Hailey Rodeo Grounds. Billed as "known accomplices," Muzzie will play, cowboy comedian Kip Attaway will perform and, of course, Micky and the Motorcars will be there.
"It's like one (Reckless Kelly) just did in Texas over Memorial Day," Muzzie said. "They wanted to start an event of their own out here besides the reunion. They're doing a Montana tour so they won't be far away. And they're playing at a wedding here that weekend."
He explained that the boys were inspired by an event they've been participating in for years in Colorado. Bands such as Pat Green, Cory Morrow, the Cross Canadian Ragweed and Reckless Kelly head to Steamboat Springs, along with paying fans from Texas. Included are accommodations, lift tickets and concert tickets. Called the Steamboat MusicFest, the event is now in its fifth successful year.
"The boys wanted to do a Western version of it—a two- to three day festival here—and bring bands up from out of state," Muzzie continued. "We thought we'd try it and get the name out this year."
Sponsors of the event include Watkins Distributing, Budweiser, Webb Landscape Centers, Stock Building Supply, Triumph Tree & Timber, The Mint, Cal Wagstaff Excavating, Idaho Lumber, Viva Taqueria, Idaho Records/White Clouds Mountain Inn, and KQFC Radio.
Meanwhile, "Wicked Twisted Road" and a single from it are in heavy rotation on CMT, the country music TV channel. The boys are in fine form.
Wild West Music Fest
Reckless Kelly's Wild West Music Fest is from 1-7 p.m., Sunday, June 19. Tickets are available at the gate for $15 for adults. Lawn chairs will be permitted. Seating is in bleachers. No coolers will be allowed but food and beverages are available inside from Wood River Fire & Rescue. Gates open at noon.