Reckless Kelly

Reckless Kelly Was Here

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After four celebrated albums and one acoustic live album, Austin, TX's (via Portland, OR) Reckless Kelly let the hammer down and offer a smoking double-live document that comes with a bonus DVD, offering fans a look at the excitement that occurred at Marcia Ball's La Zona Rosa in March of 2006. The show tracks material from their recorded output from 1998's Millican through to the mighty loud and proud Wicked Twisted Road and some choice covers ("Castanets" by Alejandro Escovedo, Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," and "Revolution" by the Beatles). This is one of those double discs that captures literally everything: the crowd noise is there everywhere -- even the crowd singing along, which can be a bit off-putting -- but it's really a small complaint because every utterance, every single flaw and hiccup is there, right out front. The mix is simply incredible. Throughout recorded music history, it's seldom that the crackling live energy of a band sweating out a set gets captured on tape. The Who's Live at Leeds is one of those, as well as Humble Pie's Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore, the Allman Brothers' Fillmore East (which was heavily edited), Janis Joplin's Cheap Thrills, James Brown's Live at the Apollo volumes; this recording is one like these, even if Reckless Kelly is not up to the caliber of those artists. These yobs may have been deeply influenced by the likes of Joe Ely and Steve Earle, but neither of them has issued a live recording with the caliber of this one. (That's right, Joe Ely's Live Shots, as fine as it is, can't touch this.) Reckless Kelly Was Here is simply a portrait of a band at their raw and woolly best, showcasing great songs (by brothers Willy and Cody Braun) in front of a rowdy Texas crowd that is swilling beer and whiskey, and digging deep into the rollicking, freewheeling vibe the group is laying out with electric guitars, a big fat bassline, a walloping drum kit, and mandolins and fiddles. To go one step further, if you haven't scoped Reckless Kelly, this is a fantastic opportunity (how often can you say that a band's live album is the best first purchase?). Pick this one up and let it rip. You'll be seeking out their studio records in a jiffy. This is the finest offering from an utterly soulful and raucous country-rock band. They have songs, chops, and plenty of piss and vinegar to make you stomp around the crib shaking your fist in the air and attempting to do a drunken two-step.

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