Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Out of the chute with Wild West Music Fest

Braun clan returns for local Father?s Day festival

Express Staff Writer

Muzzie Braun, center, and the boys, from left to right, Gary, Willy, Cody and Micky. Photo by Willy Cook

Out here in the Wild West we love our musical entertainment. We love it so much, in fact, that we turn out to listen in every sort of venue imaginable. We're also extremely lucky in that we attract and support some darn good acts. On Sunday, Father's Day will be celebrated, not necessarily around a barbecue at the lake, but in a dusty rodeo ground, watching the extended Braun clan and their respective bands mingle, jam and rock.

The Austin-based, country rock band Reckless Kelly hosts the Wild West Music Fest for the second year at the Hailey Rodeo Grounds. Included on the bill with Reckless are friend and fellow Idaho singer/songwriter Pinto Bennett and his trio, patriarch Muzzie Braun, and Micky and the Motorcars.

Despite the fact that Braun senior is producing—since he lives nearby—the festival was really Cody and Willy's idea, Braun said. The two elder Braun brothers form the nucleus of Reckless Kelly along with band mates, David Abeyta on lead guitar, Jay Nazzon on drums and Jimmy McFeely on bass.

"Even though we use the same format as our other shows together, Cody and Willy wanted to start their own thing with their name," Braun said. "They hope to continue it and some day to build it into a multi-day festival. They have a really strong following in the Wood River Valley, and it's a great location. It's family friendly and a great Father's Day event."

This will be Reckless Kelly's only performance in Idaho until the annual Braun Brothers Reunion, Aug. 11, in Challis. The rockin' country, Idaho-bred darlings will perform songs from their new CD "Reckless Kelly Was Here."

The band recently shared stages with the likes of Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakum. Their music videos are getting air time, and their music is being used in everything from soundtracks, commercials and record producing to studio sessions. Their award-winning CD, "Wicked Twisted Road" was ranked in the Top 10 Americana releases for 2005.

Following their older brothers to Texas a few years back, Micky and Gary Braun formed the Motorcars and have since made a name for themselves, sharing the stage with big names like Willie Nelson, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen. The band also consists of bassist Mark McCoy (from Stanley), Joesph Deeb on guitar, and drummer Shane Vannerson. Their recent CD "Careless" places them yapping ever closer at their big brothers' heels.

The Braun family, close, affectionate and a bit wild, comes by their musical talents naturally. Muzzie and his two bothers, Billy and Gary, play with him as the Original Braun Brothers. Their father was also a working musician. Muzzie's four sons play with him as Muzzie and The Boys, and they grew up on hundreds of stages, played on the Johnny Carson show, at the Grand Ole Opry and once opened for Johnny Cash.

Folks will see a few improvements to this year's Wild West Music Fest, producer Muzzie said. Besides bringing in a real stage, he is also working on having a ground cover in front of the stage for dancing. The grounds will be wetted down and rolled, lessening the dust factor. Braun added that the Sawtooth Rangers, who are in charge of the rodeo facility, have been "really good to work with and let us do what we need to do."

If you really want to keep it dust free through, bring a sturdy canvas or blanket to put under your chairs, wear cowboy boots and a hat. It can get pretty hot and bright out there.

Wild West Music Fest

Featuring Trio Pinto, Muzzie Braun, Micky and the Motor Cars, Muzzie and the Boys and Reckless Kelly.

The fun starts at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 18. Gates open at noon. Tickets are available at the gate: $15 for adults, $8 for kids. Lawn chairs encouraged, bleacher seating available. Food and beverages are offered by Wood River Fire & Rescue. No coolers or critters.

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