Led by brothers Willy (vocals/guitar) and Cody Braun (vocals/fiddle/mandolin/harmonica), alternative country-rock outfit Reckless Kelly formed in Bend, Oregon, before relocating to Austin, Texas, in October, 1996. The Brauns had previously toured with their father in Muzzie Braun & the Boys, a Western swing band, and were joined in their own group by lead guitarist Casey Pollock, bassist Chris Schelske, and drummer Jay Nazz.
The band played locally on historic sixth street in Austin. They turned a small bar & restaurant called Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar, into a noted music venue. From November 1996 through May 1998, they packed the place out with their infamous Monday night show. During this period other music venues in Austin invited them to play, including the Continental club, the Saxon pub, Stubb's barbecue, and Antone's home of the blues.
Reckless Kelly's debut album, Millican, appeared in the fall of 1997, and was officially released in 1998; Acoustic: Live at Stubb's and The Day both followed two years later, after which David Abeyta replaced Pollock on lead guitar. Under the Table and Above the Sun from 2003 began the band's relationship with the high-profile Sugar Hill label and won the hearts of the music press and honky tonkin' legend Joe Ely, who sang the band's praises in interviews. Wicked Twisted Road was released in 2005, and the next year the live album Reckless Kelly Was Here captured the band's stage presence. Bulletproof was released in the summer of 2008 on a new label, Yep Roc Records, and includes tracks critical of and reflecting on recent sociopolitical unfoldings, such as the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, Reckless released an album of songs by one of their musical heroes, Pinto Bennett. "Somewhere in Time", in the band's own words, highlighted their love of "straight-up honky tonk". The band regularly returns to Austin to play before capacity crowds at venues like Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre.
Younger brothers Micky and Gary Braun are frontmen of their own band, dubbed Micky & The Motorcars.