Reckless Kelly (band)

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Reckless Kelly
Origin Stanley, Idaho, U.S.
Genres Red Dirt
Texas country
Roots rock
Country rock
Years active 1997-present.
Members Willy Braun
Cody Braun
David Abeyta
Jay Nazz
Joe Miller
Past members Casey Pollock
Adam Odor
Jimmy "JAM" McFeeley
Chris Schelske

Reckless Kelly is an Americana/Texas country band based in Austin, Texas. Formed in Idaho, the band moved to Austin in January 1997. Their name was inspired by Australian bushranger Ned Kelly.


Led by brothers Willy (vocals/guitar) and Cody Braun (vocals/fiddle/mandolin/harmonica), alternative country-rock outfit Reckless Kelly formed in Stanley, ID, before relocating to Austin, Texas, in October 1996. The Brauns had previously toured with their father in Muzzie Braun & the Boys, a Western swing band, and were joined in their own group by lead guitarist Casey Pollock, bassist Chris Schelske, and drummer Jay Nazz.

Along with younger brothers Micky and Gary, Cody and Willy were raised in central Idaho near the Sawtooth Mountains, between Clayton and Challis in Custer County, and were homeschooled by their mother. Originally they were "Muzzie Braun & the Little Braun Brothers," as Muzzie and his brothers Gary and Billy were the "Braun Brothers" from Twin Falls in the 1970s and early 1980s, sons of musician Eustaceus "Mustie" Braun (1917–1981).[1][2][3] From North Dakota, Mustie was a neighbor and relative of bandleader Lawrence Welk, and was a keyboardist during the last days of legalized gambling in Idaho at Weiser in the early 1950s. He then moved to the new Club 93 in Jackpot, Nevada, on the Idaho border, and moved his family to Twin Falls, about fifty miles (80 km) north.[4] In February 1981, Mustie and wife Marian (née Beckman) were involved in a head-on collision north of Jackpot, and both died from their injuries.[2][3]

In 1989, Muzzie and his sons appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show twice.[1][4]

Reckless Kelly played locally on historic Sixth Street in Austin. They turned a small bar & restaurant called Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar, into a noted music venue. From November 1996 through May 1998, they packed the place out with their infamous Monday night show. During this period other music venues in Austin invited them to play, including the Continental club, the Saxon pub, Stubb's barbecue, and Antone's home of the blues.

Reckless Kelly's debut album, Millican, appeared in the fall of 1997, and was officially released in 1998; Acoustic: Live at Stubb's and The Day both followed two years later, after which David Abeyta replaced Pollock on lead guitar. Under the Table & Above the Sun from 2003 began the band's relationship with the high-profile Sugar Hill label and won the hearts of the music press and honky tonkin' legend Joe Ely, who sang the band's praises in interviews. Wicked Twisted Road was released in 2005, and the next year the live album Reckless Kelly Was Here captured the band's stage presence. Bulletproof was released in the summer of 2008 on a new label, Yep Roc Records, and includes tracks critical of and reflecting on recent sociopolitical unfoldings, such as the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, Reckless released an album of songs by one of their musical heroes, Pinto Bennett. Somewhere in Time, in the band's own words, highlighted their love of "straight-up honky tonk". The band regularly returns to Austin to play before capacity crowds at venues like Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre.

Younger brothers Micky and Gary Braun are frontmen of their own band, dubbed Micky & The Motorcars. Both bands play at the annual Braun Brothers Reunion in Idaho at Challis in August.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US US Heat US Indie
The Day
Under the Table & Above the Sun 67
Wicked Twisted Road
  • Release date: February 8, 2005
  • Label: Sugar Hill Records
Bulletproof 22 117 2 14
Somewhere in Time
  • Release date: February 9, 2010
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
22 146 2 15
Good Luck & True Love
  • Release date: September 13, 2011
  • Label: No Big Deal/Red Eye
20 78 18
Long Night Moon
  • Release date: September 3, 2013
  • Label: No Big Deal/Red Eye
22 106 22
Sunset Motel
  • Release date: September 23, 2016
  • Label: No Big Deal/Thirty Tigers
12 191
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US Heat US Indie
Acoustic: Live at Stubb's
  • Release date: June 6, 2000
  • Label: Valley Entertainment
Reckless Kelly Was Here
  • Release date: August 8, 2006
  • Label: Sugar Hill Records
56 41 38
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Title Album details
Best of the Sugar Hill Years
  • Release date: July 10, 2007
  • Label: Sugar Hill Records

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2003 "Nobody's Girl" Lawrence Carroll
2005 "Stick Around" Peter Zavadil
2006 "I Still Do"
2008 "Ragged as the Road"

Current members[edit]

  • Willy Braun (Lead Vocals, guitar)
  • Cody Braun (Vocals, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica)
  • David Abeyta (lead guitar, vocals)
  • Jay Nazz (Nazziola) (drums)
  • Joe Miller (bass)

Former members[edit]

  • Casey Pollock (Lead Guitar)
  • Jimmy "JAM" McFeely (Bass Guitar)
  • Chris "Shifty" Schelske (Bass Guitar)


  1. ^ a b McCarthy, John (June 22, 1990). "Braun Brothers hit the road again for tour". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). p. 1D. 
  2. ^ a b "Mustie and Marian Braun, former Lewiston residents". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). (obituary). February 20, 1981. p. 5C. 
  3. ^ a b "Mustie Braun". Find a Grave. (Twin Falls, Idaho). Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Lea, Dan (April 2, 2011). "The musical Braun family". Idaho Press-Tribune. (Nampa). Retrieved March 20, 2017. 

" Profile". Retrieved 2007-09-28.

External links[edit]