When Willy Braun of Austin-based country rock band Reckless Kelly was writing the songs that would appear on the group’s new album, he noticed a theme developing — all were about being on the road. The 12 songs, a mellow collection about wandering, leaving and going home, would become “Long Night Moon,” which was released last week.
“I noticed that most of the tunes had a traveling theme, so I just decided to go with it,” Braun said by phone from — where else — the road. “I write quite a bit on the road. If I’m on the road I’ll mostly write down ideas, a verse or a chorus or something, kind of stockpile ideas.”
“Long Night Moon” begins with the title track, on which Braun wonders, “I wonder why, I keep torturing my soul beneath this urban sky.” It ends with a linked trilogy of songs, “The Only Home I’ve Ever Known,” “Long Night Moon (Reprise)” and “Idaho.” It’s the first time the band has tried the concept. Braun said that the idea came somewhat organically during a production process in which they were trying to let the songs “speak for themselves.”
At this point, Reckless Kelly, who have called Austin home for more than 15 years, are a bit of a machine, producing their own albums, releasing their albums independently and touring pretty much all year long, coming back to Austin for a few weeks at a time before heading back out across the country.
Braun said that keeping all of their business on their own is still a work in progress as they keep up with a constantly changing industry. “There’s always a new Twitter or new Instagram; you kind of have to stay abreast of that stuff,” he said. “We definitely learned from our mistakes last time, and we made a few this time; hopefully by the next album we’ll have it down.”
In addition to an album release show Sept. 19 at the Paramount, Reckless Kelly, Micky and the Motorcars (which includes Willy and Cody Braun’s younger brothers Micky and Gary) and their father Muzzie Braun are returning to ACL Live on Nov. 29 for the Braun Family Thanksgiving show. The show evolved simply — last year, their parents planned to travel to Austin for the holiday, and they decided to make a show out of it. “We wanted to play at the Moody Theater, since it’s such an awesome room, and putting the Motorcars and us and dad on the bill, it seemed like a pretty good way to get some people in there,” Braun said.
Sting at ACL Live. Formula One returns to Austin this November, and with it a weekend of music designed to entertain the throngs of racing fans. Enter former Police frontman Sting, who will play ACL Live on Nov. 16. If you’re hoping to go, tickets start at $250 for balcony seats and go all the way to $750 for “lounge floor tickets.” Tickets go on sale Friday through ACL Live and in person at the venue box office.
HAAM Day schedule is here. The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians announced the schedule for its annual benefit day, which takes place Sept. 24. As previously reported, this year’s HAAM day closes out with the ALL ATX concert at ACL Live, which will feature performances from Ray Benson, Christopher Cross and more. See the schedule at myhaam.org.
Fun Fun Fun Fest scavenger hunt returns. Fun Fun Fun Fest announced details for its annual scavenger hunt, which takes place in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. The Austin hunt happens Sept. 22. Registration starts at 2 p.m. Details at funfunfunfest.com.
“Austin City Limits” announces new tapings. “Austin City Limits” announced three new tapings last week: Queens of the Stone Age (Oct. 3); Neko Case (Oct. 8); and Local Natives (Oct. 10). All three acts will also appear at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which happens Oct. 4-6 and 11-13. Ticket giveaways for tapings usually happen in the “ACL” blog at acltv.com a week before each performance.
ACL Fest student sale. Once again ACL Fest has put aside a few tickets for high school and college students. A limited number of tickets for each weekend will be available at the early-bird price of $200 for a three-day general admission pass. Tickets for the first weekend, Oct. 4-6, sold out rapidly; tickets for the second weekend, Oct. 11-13, are still available at the price of $225 for a three-day pass.
The student sale will be Saturday at KUTX Studios at the Belo Center for New Media on the University of Texas campus. The sale starts at 8 a.m. with the line forming at 6 a.m. (numbered placards will be distributed), but people generally begin to line up much earlier, so if you’re trying to procure tickets for weekend one, you know the drill. A valid high school or college ID is required to purchase tickets, and cash and credit cards will be accepted. There is a limit of four tickets a person per weekend.
— Deborah Sengupta Stith
In brief: George Strait will play the Erwin Center on Jan. 10 as part of his final, two-year tour. There is no word yet about a ticket on-sale date.