Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reckless Kelly Takes A Ride To D.C.

Country rockers Reckless Kelly have released what they say is their “first ever” single. It comes just in time for the November presidential election. Pennsylvania Avenue debuted last week along with B-side cover of Chuck Berry’s Back In the U.S.A.

Although the band has had some politically-infused lyrics before, they usually made sure you knew which way they were leaning. This time, that’s not the case.

Pennsylvania Avenue explores the presidency.

The band seems to be firmly in the middle, or maybe even bipartisan, as Pennsylvania Avenue explores the American presidency. It's about the men who have held the office over the nation’s rich history.

So rather than having your politics colored red or blue, the song urges using some good old fashioned sense. At the polls come November,  pick the one who can get the job done.

“It’s about asking questions and speaking up, both and before and after election day. It’s about freedom of speech. It’s about the great leaders who have gone to bat for their country when everything was on the line. It’s about the future of the country we love,” the band said in a statement to avoid confusion. This time, maybe everything really is on the line.

A brief thumbnail about the band Reckless Kelly.

Reckless Kelly is one of those bands who has been around the block and knows what they want. The band, which takes its name from notorious Australian bank robber Ned Kelly, was founded by brothers Cody and Willy Braun on their home turf of Bend, Oregon.

They relocated to Austin, Texas, shortly thereafter. They like to point out that the “live music capital of the world” truly is their home. In addition to Cody Braun (mandolin, fiddle, and vocals) and Willy Braun (lead vocals and guitar), the band includes Jay Nazz (drums), and David Abeyta (lead guitar, vocals). So why Austin? Cody and Willy tell it best.

For anyone being introduced to Reckless Kelly, Pennsylvania Avenue is a good place to start. The band has always been known for bouncing melodies. It's evident here, along with some stellar fiddling, acoustic guitar, and steady rhythm.

Willy Braun’s voice brings the song home with conviction and his warm, engaging tone. He does a nice job bridging the two worlds of country and rock without falling into the trap of the proverbial middle of the road. The band has already been showing off the song live.

Of course, Pennsylvania Avenue is only half the story. If Chuck Berry had been from Austin instead of St. Louis, then Reckless Kelly’s version of his Back In the U.S.A. might have been just what he had in mind.

While Willy Braun’s voice again is front and center singing about how glad he is to be living in the U.S.A., Nazz keeps it on pace with a steady, rocking beat. Abeyta also gets a chance to show off his skillful chops without going overboard. The boys are just trying to be who they are here, which includes a little rebellion in their hearts.

It’s this same rebellious nature that prompted the band to form their own record label, No Big Deal Records. Being on their own label gives the band the chance to choose their own path and make music their own way. The new single and B-side are going to have to tide fans over until spring 2013, when the band plans to release their next full-length album.

Pennsylvania Avenue By Reckless Kelly Rides 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

The band is currently on tour in the South through Thanksgiving. They are also playing a few gigs in New York City and Baltimore. You can keep up with their tour schedule on Facebook. It's always good to see them in Austin too, especially because they helped build the music scene after turning Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar into a noted music venue. Of course, nowadays they sell out at Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre.

Pennsylvania Avenue by Reckless Kelly is up at Amazon. You can also download the single from iTunes. The band is best known for Americana/Texas country music, but the rock infusion is ever present. Their last studio album broke on both the country and indie charts.
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