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Led by brothers Willy (vocals, guitar) and Cody Braun (vocals, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica), alternative country-rock outfit Reckless Kelly formed in Bend, Oregon before relocating to Austin, Texas in January 1997. 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. Reckless Kelly's debut album, Millican, appeared in 1998. Acoustic: Live at Stubb's and Day both followed two years later, after which David Abeyta replaced Pollock on lead guitar. 2003's Under the Table and Above the Sun was the beginning of the group'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 came out, featuring songs from all of their previous studio records, as well as three covers; it truly captured the band's stage presence. Bulletproof appeared from Yep Roc in 2008, and Somewhere in Time, also on Yep Roc, followed in 2010, and then Reckless Kelly parted ways with the label. The next year, the group released Good Luck & True Love on their Red Eye-distributed imprint No Big Deal, a label that also housed their 2013 album Long Night Moon. In 2016, the band celebrated their 20th anniversary with the back-to-basics set Sunset Motel, and in 2019 they issued the concert album Bulletproof Live. For the first set of original Reckless Kelly material in nearly five years, Willy Braun set out to write a concept album. That record turned out to be American Jackpot, but he wound up writing a bunch of songs that didn't fit his theme, so Reckless Kelly gathered those tunes as American Girls. The two records came out as the double-LP American Jackpot/American Girls in May 2020. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

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