Reckless Kelly Bulletproof

Now that their ’06 double live album, Reckless Kelly Was Here, has made this country rockin’ quintet favourite sons of Texas, the band have their sights set on the rest of the continent with this ambitious 14-track offering. Recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studios, Bulletproof certainly does possess the swagger of vintage Steve Earle and Joe Ely but more importantly, songs like "American Blood” and "God Forsaken Town” carry with them strong political messages of the sort not usually proffered by good ol’ boys. Front-man Willy Braun also turns in a few classic weepers, in the form of "I Never Had A Chance” and "Don’t Say Goodbye.” But while the diversity of the songwriting is always challenging, and the performances are honest and passionate, the overall dry sound of Bulletproof makes it seem in some ways unfinished. Still, it’s all done in the fine Texas tradition, something fans of that style will surely appreciate. (Yep Roc)