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Playing Around: Reckless Kelly 

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If these guys bring their fan base with them, Tres is going to finally splinter at the sides and come crashing down under the weight of so many floor-stomping hick-rockers. Hailing from Bend, Ore., Reckless Kelly moved to music mecca Austin, Texas in 1997. In 1998, and then again in 1999, the quintet was voted "Best Roots Rock Band" at the Austin Music Awards. Billboard magazine took note of the band and featured them in a story about the most prominent up-and-coming Austin Bands. And if that isn't enough, last year voters ranked Reckless Kelly as second in line for the "Best New Band of the Decade" award.

From where they sit, the view from second place ain't bad. Being in second place gives a new band room to move and try new styles without being fenced in by the expectations of their fans. When Reckless was formed by brothers Cody and Willy Braun and friend Chris Schelske, their sound was a whole lotta country and a little bit rock 'n' roll. But the call of the electric guitar siren could not be ignored, and by the time the group's debut album Millican was released, even AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" had been given the Reckless Kelly country-rock treatment.

Currently the band has adopted a rock sound peppered with heavy drumbeats, brazen fiddle playing and lonesome lyrics that recall the rough-edged heartbreak of Willie Nelson, a sound that certain critics are calling "Americana," a label Reckless Kelly has no problem accepting.

You've got to see these boys live to appreciate the energy. Squeeze into your Wranglers and be sure to check out this promising young band up the pass this Friday night. Tickets are $5; call 687-0625.

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