The packaging for Reckless Kelly's most recent release, Wicked Twisted Road, contains a miniature die and a foldout board game based on its lyrics. Its country-folk tearjerkers ("Wretched Again," "These Tears") set players back several spaces, while its Celtic romps and honky-tonk numbers propel them toward the finish line. Other markers reveal the Austin-based quintet's classic rock pedigree (a Skynyrd-style "Plane Crash" means game over, while landing on the "Cover of Rolling Stone" like Dr. Hook pays off). In addition to scoring its self-contained amusement, Wicked Twisted Road serves as an ideal soundtrack for an evening of beer-drinking, gambling and wistful reminiscences about wrecked romances. Weary-voiced singer Willy Braun excels at bitter kiss-offs ("you want the credit / but can't you see / these tears don't fall for you") and vaguely threatening expressions of devotion ("I'm never gonna let you go / You're the one sure thing I've found / so you better stick around"). David Abeyta's searing work on electric, slide and 12-string guitars merges with furious fiddling during the album's most intense passages, while acoustic picking, harmonicas and piano reinforce its high-lonesome moods. Reckless Kelly's live shows offer even more excitement than its records: It's the difference between a bells-and-whistles quiz show and its static home-game companion.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.