Reckless Kelly

Acoustic: Live at Stubb's

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Reckless Kelly Live at Stubb's is the kind of live album that captures the band in its element, kicking back and rocking out on acoustic instruments, interacting with a lively and appreciative crowd, and generally having a hell of a time. The original songs by lead singer and rhythm guitarist Willy Braun are mostly unremarkable country fare, with their twangy tales of hard times, lost love, and excess partying. But they are performed here with such skill and such infectious showmanship that it is be hard not to be drawn into the fun. The band's set list draws from several high-profile country musicians, including an extended jam on Billy Joe Shaver's "Hottest Thing in Town" and a catchy take on Steve Earle's "My Baby Worships Me." But the real highlight of this record may be Braun' countrified covers of big name rock stars: Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," AC/DC's "Shook Me All Night Long," Steve Poltz's "The Ballad of Tommy and Maria," and, best of all, a wickedly punchy rendition of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Throughout, the unplugged band is in rare form, with Casey Pollock's crisp acoustic guitar solos and Cody Braun's intricate blue grassy mandolin and dynamic fiddle playing providing a raucous backdrop for Braun's drawling baritone. The quality of the recording is also superb, capturing accurately the feel of an intimate pub concert with a boozed-up crowd enjoying the time of their lives.

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