Craft Recordings celebrates the 20th anniversary of Reckless Kelly’s acclaimed LP Under the Table & Above the Sun with its first-ever vinyl pressing. The GRAMMY-winning country rockers’ third studio album and first release under Sugar Hill Records, Under the Table & Above the Sun features the fan-favorites “Nobody’s Girl” and “Vancouver.” Out September 8th and available for pre-order now, the LP edition features lacquers cut by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl. Additionally, Under the Table & Above the Sun will make its debut on hi-res audio (192/24) and fans can visit the band’s official website for an exclusive pressing on tan-colored vinyl.
Formed by brothers Willy and Cody Braun in 1996, Reckless Kelly was born out of family tradition. Raised in central Idaho, Willy, Cody, and their younger brothers came from a long line of musical talent. Their grandfather, Eustaceus “Mustie” Braun was a keyboardist who built a name for himself playing the ’50s casino circuit in Nevada and Idaho. A generation later, his sons Muzzie, Gary, and Billy formed the Braun Brothers. Muzzie, in turn, passed his love of music to his sons, Willy, Cody, Gary, and Micky. As children, the Brauns performed with their dad in a Western swing band, gaining national attention as Muzzie Braun & the Little Braun Brothers (later Muzzie Braun & the Boys). During those formative years, they performed twice on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and shared the stage with such legends as Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard.
By the mid-’90s, however, elder brothers Willy (vocals/guitar) and Cody (vocals, fiddle, mandolin/harmonica) were eager to forge their own path and relocated to Austin, TX. Borrowing their name from Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, the Brauns assembled a band comprised of drummer Jay Nazz, bassist Chris Schelske, and guitarist Casey Pollock (later replaced by David Abeyta). Before long, Reckless Kelly’s modern blend of country, pop, roots, and rock helped them gain a foothold in the city’s Sixth Street scene. They also earned the respect of their musical heroes, including Texas icons Joe Ely and Robert Earl Keen (the latter of whom became their first manager).
After two studio LPs (1998’s Millican and 2000’s The Day) and a live album, Reckless Kelly caught the attention of celebrated Americana label Sugar Hill Records. In December 2002, they settled into a Tennessee studio to record their third album with producer and hit singer-songwriter, Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams). Showcasing the breadth of the group’s talents through 12 original songs, the album spanned a variety of moods – from reflective, mid-tempo balladry (“Vancouver,” “Everybody,” “Desolation Angels”) and foot-stomping rockers (“Nobody’s Girl,” “Mersey Beat”) to hook-filled, pop-forward tracks like “Let’s Just Fall” and “I Saw It Coming.”
Released in May 2003, Under the Table & Above the Sun received a warm welcome. AllMusic praised, “The whole thing pulls you along happily, with a feeling very much like that of riding through rugged, beautiful countryside in a nice car. Highly recommended.” The Austin Chronicle hailed the band’s “mature and serious” songwriting, while No Depression declared, “It’s just good country rock without schlock and gloss.” Fans agreed, as Under the Table & Above the Sun marked the band’s first entry into Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart, hitting number 67. This led the way for a slew of best-selling titles to follow.
Under the Table & Above the Sun marked a new chapter for the band. Lead vocalist Willy Braun shares, “It was our first album with David Abeyta on lead guitar, first record for the Sugar Hill, and first collaboration with producer Ray Kennedy, who encouraged me to write at least twice as many songs as we needed. The songs were better; the band was tighter. It was our first ‘grown-up’ record. This album felt like we had learned who we were as a band. Looking back, after twenty years, there’s not much I would change about this album, and I hope it holds up in the eyes and ears of the fans as much as it does for the band and myself. I hope we all still feel the same in another twenty years."
In the two decades following Under the Table & Above the Sun, Reckless Kelly has released seven studio albums – including Wicked Twisted Road (2005), Bulletproof (2008), and the GRAMMY-winning Long Night Moon (2013) – plus the popular 2006 live CD/DVD, Reckless Kelly Was Here. In 2020, the band released their latest album, American Jackpot/American Girls. In addition to regular tours across the country, fans can catch Reckless Kelly at their annual Braun Brothers Reunion festival in Challis, Idaho.
Under the Table & Above the Sun Tracklist (Vinyl)
- Let’s Just Fall
- Nobody’s Girl
- Desolation Angels
- I Saw It Coming
- Mersey Beat
- Set Me Free
- You Don’t Want Me Around
- May Peace Find You Tonight