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story.lead_photo.caption Reckless Kelly

Reckless Kelly might lack the necessary qualifications for their name these days.

After all, how reckless could a band be that has been stable enough to release eight albums? The Austin, Texas-based band released Long Night Moon on Sept. 3 and the album has a cohesive theme that the band is intimately familiar with: traveling.

“We didn’t set out to do one that way,” says Reckless Kelly’s lead singer, Willy Braun, seated in front in accompanying photo. “But … all the songs [had] a traveling vibe, so we started steering the ship that way, so to speak, whether they also were about love or life.

“And just for fun, we made the CD so there’s a big glow in-the-dark moon on the cover, and we enclosed a little flashlight that our fans can shine on the cover so it glows in the dark.”

Reckless Kelly was formed in the mid-1990s in Bend, Ore., by brothers Willy and Cody Braun and three other musicians who had moved to Oregon from Idaho, where the Braun brothers had been in their father’s band. The group moved to Austin in 1997, and through several personnel changes, only drummer Jay Nazz has remained with the Brauns. David Abeyta now plays lead guitar and Joe Miller is the bassist. Willy Braun plays rhythm guitar and Cody Braun plays mandolin, fiddle and harmonica.

“We’re out on the road for about 200 days in the year,” Willy says. “That equals to about 140-150 shows. We went to Ireland last year and we’re hoping to return this fall. It is such a cool place there.”

The group took its name from a famous Australian bank robber, Ned Kelly (who has been portrayed twice in movies, both of which are simply named Ned Kelly, first by Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger in 1970 and 33 years later by the late Heath Ledger).

Obviously, music runs in the Braun family, as Willy and Cody Braun are the older brothers of another pair of notable rock ’n’ rollers: Micky and Gary Braun, of Micky & the Motorcars, a band that also plays on occasion around Arkansas.

Reckless Kelly’s latest album is the follow-up to its 2011 release, Good Luck & True Love, which was Grammy-nominated and won four Lone Star Music Awards, along with containing four singles that reached No. 1on the Texas Music Chart.

“Long Night Moon is our second album that we’ve released on a label we started, named No Big Deal,” Willy says. “We also manage ourselves, so I guess we’re getting less reckless as the years go by.”

Reckless Kelly

8 p.m. Friday, Revolution Room, 300 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock Admission: $15 (501) 823-0090

Weekend, Pages 34 on 01/30/2014

Print Headline: Long Night Moon lights Reckless Kelly’s path to LR

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