Call it Reckless Kelly’s Last Hurrah.
From its roots as a barnstorming Idaho outfit to its modern-day status as a torchbearer for independent Americana music from coast to coast, Reckless has tied Austin rock and cowboy poetry together seamlessly for more than 25 years. Now, the band is slowly winding down its touring days.
Co-founders and brothers Willy and Cody Braun told Rolling Stone in late 2022 that Reckless will pare its touring schedule back to roughly 35 shows a year from 2023-35 before retiring from the road altogether. This alone is a major change for a group which has neared or exceed 200 shows a year for most of its career.
The reason for the long goodbye, according to the members, is to ensure fans have opportunities to catch more shows without the pressure a whirlwind farewell tour puts on both artist and audience.
“The coolest thing about our fan base is, we got them one at a time,” Willy — Reckless’s front man, says. “We didn’t go out there with one big hit or music video or one big tour. We literally got our fans on an individual basis. I’m pretty proud of that part: Once we got a fan, they stayed with us.”
Cody — who plays fiddle and mandolin — and Willy grew up in rural Idaho, near Stanley, in a family full of musicians. They are joined in Reckless by drummer Jay Nazz, bassist Joe Miller and steel guitar player Geoff Queen.
Before wrapping up on the road, Reckless plans to release at least one more full-length album — a follow to the double album American Jackpot/American Girls, which was released in spring 2020 just as the pandemic shut down live music and scuttled a release tour — and the band intends to announce multiple projects, big and small, between now and 2025.