If Texas ever needs a First Lady of Country Music, Kelly Willis would fill the job nicely. No doubt she could be in Nashville singing whatever anyone tells her will be a hit, but she tried that game and found it didn't suit her. Instead, she stays in Austin with her children and when she records, it's what she wants. Look no further than her last album, Translated from Love (produced by cult rocker Chuck Prophet), to hear that Willis's taste and palette are way too broad for Taylor Swift's Nashvegas. As Prophet told us, Willis "can make something ordinary suddenly become amazing." On a more personal note, I was on my way to a wedding with my father when I put Willis's One More Time: The MCA Recordings in the CD player. My dad is hardcore old school when it comes to country music, but he completely fell in love with Willis. When we got back home, he drove to his local Walmart and was disappointed to find they didn't carry Willis's records, so he drove 40 miles to Waco and ordered them from a record shop there. Yes, he became a fan. The mother of four doesn't tour much anymore, so don't miss this full-band gig by one of Texas's rarest artistic treasures.
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