The Malheur County Fair and Rodeo got a serious dose of country rock on Friday, July 30. Professional musicians Muzzie Braun, Micky and the Motorcars and Reckless Kelly put on a four-hour concert that kept fans on their feet and cheering for more. But for the Braun family, it was more than just a show – it was a family reunion.
Brothers Cody, left, and Willy Braun of Reckless Kelly in full rock-and-roll stride at the Malheur County Fair and Rodeo Concert Series on Friday night, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
ONTARIO – Music runs deep in the veins of the Braun family, and it has been coursing through them for decades now. And on the night of Friday, July 30, Muzzie Braun along with his four sons – Gary, Micky, Cody and Willy – shared their rock-and-roll talents with the attendees of the Malheur County Fair and Rodeo.
The Braun boys and their accompanying bands rocked the stage for nearly four hours.
Idaho native Muzzie Braun and his boys have been playing together for nearly 40 years. In 1989 when the sons were still just boys, they appeared twice with their father as Muzzie and the Little Braun Brothers on the “Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson and another time when Jay Leno was host.
Willy Braun, only 11 at the time of their national debut on late night television, said he didn’t understand how big of deal that was.
But their parents knew.
“We were a nervous wreck,” said Joann Braun, matriarch of the Braun family, about the “Tonight Show” appearance. “We didn’t even own a TV. One had to be brought in so we could watch.”
Muzzie and the Braun boys have come a long way since their 1989 debut on the “Tonight Show”. Muzzie Braun, now 71, is still writing and performing music with the heart and soul of a young cowboy and helped compose part of Reckless Kelly’s most recent album, “American Jackpot / American Girls.”
Idaho county music legend Muzzie Braun starts off the Malheur County Fair Concert Series with some authentic cowboy style on Friday, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise).
Willy and Cody Braun formed the band Reckless Kelly in 1996. The group has released 10 albums since their first record “Millican” debuted in 1998 and won a Grammy for Best Recording Package in 2014 for their album “Long Night Moon.”
The younger Braun brothers Micky and Gary formed the band Micky and the Motorcars in the early 2000’s and have released six albums, some making it into top 50 on Billboard’s country chart.
This stop in Ontario is just one of a long tour for Reckless Kelly. The tour’s last stop is in Hawkins, Texas, on Nov. 20, but playing 61 shows in six months is what Braun boys and their band mates love doing.
“I love touring. I slept like a baby on the bus coming into Ontario,” Willy Braun said.
The remainder of Reckless Kelly’s tour will not include Micky and the Motorcars or Muzzie Braun, but the entire Braun family will grace the same stage again from Aug. 12-14 in Challis, Idaho, for the Braun Brothers reunion show. It is an event the Braun clan is looking forward to.
The Braun family plans to keep writing and making music together for years to come.
“It’s great to sing a song with your kid,” Muzzie Braun said. “But it’s really great to write one with your kid.”
Micky and the Motorcars keeps the show going in true country rock style at the Malheur County Fair and Rodeo Concert Series on Friday night, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
Brothers Willy, left and Micky Braun get a little help from Micky’s daughter Ali at the Malheur County Fair and Rodeo Concert Series on Friday night, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
Muzzie Braun sings with his son Willy and his band Reckless Kelly at the Malheur County Fair on Friday, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
Micky Braun enjoys some candy with his daughter Ali backstage at the Malheur County Fair on Friday, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
Muzzie and Joann Braun swing their granddaughter Ali between their arms as they walk back stage at the Malheur County Fair on Friday, July 30. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
News tip? Contact multimedia journalist Austin Johnson: [email protected] or (541) 784-7151
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