Saturday To-Do: Reckless Kelly | Rock Candy

Friday, January 14, 2011

Saturday To-Do: Reckless Kelly

Posted By on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 5:52 AM

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RECKLESS KELLY
9 p.m., Stickyz. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.

Let's face it: Red Dirt country is responsible for a lot of the better country songs to have come out in the last few years, but it gets a bit samey-same at times. At worst, it sounds like the songs are written via Mad Libs: Insert "cigarette," "dirt road," "sittin' here, thinkin' 'bout..." at will. At best, it sounds something like Reckless Kelly: energetic, brash, clever and melodic.

In 2008, when so many other bands were squeezing the last bit of life out of the same three guitar chords and writing Live Journal-grade lyrics, Reckless Kelly was busy writing "Bulletproof," a terrific album that could be the most politically outspoken country release since Johnny Cash's "Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian." Sure, Bono and Billy Joe Armstrong can make four or five fine livings between the two of them by setting political outrage to music, but lefty provocation isn't always so welcome in country music circles. (See: Dixie Chicks.)

That's not to say the band is Pete Seeger reincarnated, singularly focused on politics; the guys keep a sense of humor beside their guitars. Take a chance on "Ritalin and Wiggles," an "I have a crush on you, so let's do drugs together" song as funny and unexpectedly sweet as it gets. Last time Reckless Kelly came to town, Stickyz found itself packed to the walls even before half of fellow Red Dirt heroes Cross Canadian Ragweed stormed the stage for a surprise joint encore. If anyone left unimpressed, I certainly didn't see it; expect another packed house for the boys.

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