Long Night Moon

Reckless Kelly

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Long Night Moon Review

by Thom Jurek

Two years after Good Luck & True Love, an album that made its way into the Top 20 of Billboard's country chart, the band has been rethinking its production ideas. Once again releasing an album independently on their No Big Deal Records label, this is easily the most polished studio offering in Reckless Kelly's catalog. Co-produced by the Willy & Cody Braun and mixed by Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle's partner in the Twang Trust), their sound remains rooted in the Red Dirt country sound they helped to bring to the marketplace. Willy's expressive, grainy baritone is right up front and brother Cody's fiddle anchors his delivery on each of these 12 songs. Electric and acoustic guitars, a natural-sounding drum kit, and guest musicians -- Lloyd Maines on pedal steel, Jeff Plankenhorn on dobro, and Bukka Allen on keyboards -- fill out the profile that sits solidly in the Red Dirt/Americana realm of country rock. Long Night Moon may be shinier in articulation, but it's far from slick. Throughout these 12 songs about love, road life, conflict, tenderness, and resignation, the themes of constant motion and travel emerge as dominant and haunt Braun's fine lyrics that all reflect the tensions in the heart of the wandering musician. Standout tracks include the shimmering title number, "Real Cool Hand" (which recalls the melodic rock & roll edginess on Earle's early records), "I Can't Stand It," "The Last Goodbye," and closer "Idaho."

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