Reckless Kelly Announce They Will Retire From Touring In 2025: “We’ve Exceeded Our Wildest Dreams, And Then Some”

Reckless Kelly
Cassandra Weyandt

Man, a bittersweet day for the world of red dirt music.

According to Rolling Stone, one of the greatest red dirt mainstays, Reckless Kelly, is calling it quits on touring after 25 years.

Co-founders and brothers, Willy and Cody Braun, said that they will narrow their shows down to 35 a year starting in 2023, and ultimately retiring for good in 2025.

Willy gave the reasoning behind retirement:

“In a nutshell, I’ve been playing music professionally and touring since I was 7 or 8. I still love playing, I still love traveling, and I still love all the guys in the band. What it comes down to, really, is I’m ready to do something different.

By the time we hang it up in three years, I will have been on the road playing music for over 40 years. I’ve been at this so long, there’s not a lot of surprises anymore, and I’m ready to not have to be somewhere every weekend for a bit.”

The group will kick off 2023 in January at The MusicFest in Steamboat, Colorado. The group is announcing this now, because they don’t want themselves and their fans to feel the pressure of a “farewell” tour.

Cody shared:

“We’re  trying to play larger venues, festivals, and places we love. We want to get back to those old haunts that we love and have played forever one more time.

We’re going to try to get as close to people as we can, but people will probably have to drive a little further than they’re used to if they want to see us now.”

Their 2023 stretch will consist of stops at the Houston Livestock Show and RodeoHouston in February, Billy Bob’s in May, Circus Mexicus in June, and a co-headlining concert on September 16th with Jason Boland and the Stragglers at the Ryman Auditorium.

Reckless Kelly also plans to release at least one more full-length album, a follow up to their 2020 double LP American Jackpot/American Girls. 

The Braun brothers founded Reckless Kelly in Bend, Oregon in the summer of 1996, when drummer Jay Nazz happened to come across Cody and Willy playing a dive bar with two other members, but no drummer.

They’ve released 10 studio albums and two live albums, toured nationally, and founded the annual Braun Brothers Reunion Festival in Challis, Idaho.

Now that it’s all coming to an end, Cody had one message he wanted to send to the fans:

“I want everyone who supported us to know how much we appreciated it over the years. In the independent world, you survive by the kindness of others.

There are people who let us sleep on couches or play their clubs when we weren’t drawing flies, and the next three years are ones we’re looking at as a thank you to those people.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock