March 18, 2010

Week 28 - Reckless Kelly - Somewhere In Time

(Week 28 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks)  
“The time I spent with you I swear I’ve never been so high. And if you never really loved me you cared enough to lie.” – You Cared Enough To Lie

Reckless Kelly
Somewhere In Time
Yep Roc Records

Learn from whom you came from. Reckless Kelly take this to heart in a big way on their new release, Somewhere In Time. It’s a tribute album to the songwriting of one of their biggest inspirations, Pinto Bennett and the Famous Motel Cowboys. Twelve tracks (14 if you count the bonus tracks) written by Bennett delivered in the signature Reckless Kelly style.

You may have never heard of Pinto Bennett. That’s OK. I hadn’t either. But he’s a thing of legend in Idaho where the Braun brothers (Cody and Willie) cut their musical teeth before they made the trek to Austin. And after hearing Somewhere In Time I’d have to say there’s a reason he is legend. He is what people may call a songwriters songwriter.

Somewhere In Time is a slight departure musically for Reckless Kelly. Whereas Bulletproof was more of a country-rock record, this album is more of a return to the roots of barroom honky-tonk. And they slip on the sound as easy as you slip on that favorite old t-shirt found at the back of your closet.

Not to say there’s isn’t some rock gems within the CD. “Little Blossom,” the first track on the album, is a pretty hardcore country offering. Joe Ely lends some vocal support to “The Ballad Of Elano De Leone.” And anyone who’s been blindsided with a downsizing (raises my hand) will smile and nod in agreement to “Bird On A Wire.”

But the spotlights on Somewhere In Time are the classic country-sounding tracks like “I Hold The Bottle, You Hold The Wheel,” “Idaho Cowboyand the heartbreaking “Thelma” which features vocals by Bennett himself.

I’d have to say the country-swagger of “Everything I Could Do Wrong” is the stand-out track on an album full of gems. It’s the ultimate song about the guy who just can’t get it right in life. “The road to hell in paved with good intentions / I had good intentions all along / Stopped by the bar to see some old friends / Yeah I had good intentions all along / I done everything I could do wrong.”

I guess sometimes it takes great songwriters to introduce folks to great songwriters via an album like this. Kind of like how Pat Green and Cory Morrow did with 2001’s Songs We Wish We’d Written (Note: I heard an interview with Morrow on KVET a week ago where he mentioned they’re looking at recording a follow-up) or how Garth Brooks let people know about Chris LeDoux in “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”. Thank you Reckless Kelly for introducing Pinto Bennett.

Reckless Kelly is Willy Braun (vocals, guitar), Cody Braun (fiddle, mandolin), Jay Nazz (drums), David Abeyta (guitar), Chris Schelske (bass). March 26 and 27 they play a 2-night stand at the legendary Gruene Hall. Find more information on them at

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