Interview with Cody Braun

Few households in the music industry can boast the pedigree of the Braun brothers.  Originally from Idaho, siblings Cody and Willy’s band Reckless Kelly have been at the forefront of the roots scene in Austin Texas for two decades, long before the genre became christened with the Americana tag. Younger brothers Micky and Gary also front their own band Micky & The Motorcars. The brothers learned their trade at a very young age as part of their father’s travelling band Muzzie Braun and The Boys. Their grandfather Musty Braun was also a working musician, playing anything from country to jazz as a professional performer. With music flowing through their veins it’s no wonder the Braun brothers have survived and continue to survive in an industry that offers ongoing challenges and obstacles. They understand the meaning of hard work, reinvention, survival and the importance of offering a quality product to their listeners both in the studio and at their renowned live shows. Reckless Kelly and their entourage arrive in the West of Ireland next month for dates in Galway, Clifden and Lahinch. Lonesome Highway caught up with Cody Braun to discover how the tour came about and what exactly can we expect from the Texas invasion. 

How did the idea of the Seven Days in Ireland tour come about?

In 2005 my brother Willy and I along with a song writing friend from Nashville took a 7-day trip over to Ireland for the first time. We flew into Shannon rented a car and had plans to see the entire country stopping in a different town each night. To make a long story short Clifden was as far as we made it. Our song seven nights in Ireland tells the whole story. We met some great folks who we immediately became friends with and spent half of our trip in Clifden and the other half in Galway. We fell in love with the western country side and this will be our fourth trip back. 

We have since been to other parts of the country but are always drawn to the area we first visited because of the beauty and the friends we made.

Since the first trip we have been telling family and friends about how wonderful Ireland is and our song Seven Nights in Ireland has become one of our most popular tunes over here in the US.

We have talked for years about putting a trip together of family, friends and fans and coming over as a group to see what kind of racket we can make. After a failed attempt a few years ago we were finally able to pull it off and are all very excited to make the trip together in April.  

Did you deliberately target the West of Ireland rather than booking the larger cities?

Yes, this is the part of Ireland we know the best and our friend David Griffin " Griffins Pub" has helped us find other gigs in the area. After visiting the larger cities Dublin and Cork we found that we were more comfortable in the smaller towns where it was easier to connect with people and the pace is a bit slower. 

Is the intention essentially to bring your audience on the tour or to also get the local punters out to the shows?

A bit of both really. We hope that the locals will come out and enjoy the music and the folks we have brought along with us. Most of the people coming on the trip are close family friends so we are looking forward to showing them a good time and hopefully building a local following at the same time.  

You have most certainly lined up a talented bunch of artists to accompany you. Tell me about the selection of other musicians on the tour with you?

We picked friends that we love to jam with. Jason, Courtney and Matt are incredible writers and musicians but also have a deep love and knowledge of where country music came from. When we get together we usually end up playing old country songs all night like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. My brothers and our father Muzzie and I all love to sing songs of our own and songs by our heroes like Guy Clark and John Prine. 

We picked artists and friends that we love to hang out with and who share the same love for music. Also, friends who can keep up with us at the bar!

How will the three shows be formatted with the number of artists on the tour bus. Precision scheduling or organised chaos? 

It will change every night. Most of the shows will be acoustic with one honky tonk/country rock show in Clifden. We have a bit of a plan but hope to keep it casual and fun. Lots of jamming together with some of our original tunes mixed in with our favourite covers. 

Your posts suggest that this trip may become an annual event. Is this your intention?

We will see how it goes. This trip is mostly family and friends so they are a bit easier to please than paying customers can tend to be. We are going to do our best to keep coming back and if we can bring a group of good people along with us from time to time we are pretty sure we wont have trouble filling the spots available. We want to keep it fun and manageable for the band and our goal is to come back at least once a year with or without a crowd. 

Interview by Declan Culliton