A country rock band will headline this year’s Montezuma County Fair.
Austin-based Reckless Kelly will take the stage Friday, July 26, at the fairgrounds, preceding the weeklong event. Their music is classified as a mix of country and rock – or “Americana.”
“We play a wide range of music and hope everyone leaves having had a great time and with a newfound love of Americana music,” said Cody Braun, one of the band’s founders.
The fair will take place from July 26 through Aug. 4 this year. Reckless Kelly’s concert is scheduled for Friday, July 26.
Last year, the Montezuma County Fair Board brought in country musician Richie Law but didn’t see the high attendance they expected, said Dani Traweek, who has been organizing the concert. This year, they hope to attract a larger crowd.
“It is a goal of the fair board to be able to do this as a community event going forward,” she said. “But we have to make sure that it’s sustainable and that it’s going to pay for itself.”
Traweek said they were looking to bring in a country band that had recorded music and found that Reckless Kelly was on tour heading their way. The overall cost was $15,000, she said, which was funded by the fair board along with the fair sponsors.
“Reckless Kelly is probably a little more red dirt country,” Traweek said. “And the general consensus that I got from folks was that, that was a genre that people listen to quite a bit here.”
Reckless Kelly, though, calls their genre “Americana,” or “country rock.”
“It’s a combination of rock ’n’ roll attitude mixed with country swagger,” Braun said. “Our version is like Bruce Springsteen having a fistfight with Hank Williams with Robert Keen and Steve Earle trying to break up the fight.”
Take that as you will.
The band was started in the late 1990s by Cody and Willy Braun and Jay Nazz. The Brauns are brothers, and first performed as part of their father’s band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys, alongside their other two brothers – Micky and Gary – who now have their own band too.
Additional members have joined since. The current lineup includes Willy and Cody Braun, Joe Miller, Jay Nazz and Jeff Crosby. The Brauns are both on vocals, with Willy also on guitar and Cody on mandolin and fiddle, Miller plays bass guitar, Nazz drums, and Crosby is the lead guitarist.
Their performance at the fairgrounds is one stop on a tour for Reckless Kelly. After the Cortez show, the musicians will travel to Denver and Colorado Springs, before heading west.
“We love Colorado and the great folks up here,” Braun said. “Willy and I grew up in Idaho, so we love getting back to the high country in the summertime! People know how to shut off the phones and kick up their heels. It feels like home.”
The Cortez concert will be opened by local band Sitton Shotgun. The show will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 on the day of the show. Bleacher seating is available first-come, first-served, and the surrounding dirt area will also be open. Kids 4 and under can enter free.
For more information, visit the Montezuma County Fair website.