Reckless Kelly’s ‘North American Jackpot’ Is the ‘Cornerstone’ of Two New Albums [Exclusive Premiere]
Reckless Kelly are preparing to release two new albums in May, and they are sharing one of the key tracks in this Taste of Country exclusive.
The Austin, Texas-based alt-country pioneers are set to release American Jackpot and American Girls on May 22, and Taste of Country readers are getting an early listen to a new song titled "North American Jackpot" that is set for release on Friday (Feb. 28) in advance of the dual release.
The new collections explore the complexities of the American experience from a variety of angles, and "North American Jackpot" is the anchor track. The song is a celebration of the opportunity America offers, though it also cautions that the ideals upon which the country was founded might be starting to slip away.
"Seems we hit the jackpot, baby, you and me / We were born in North America in the 20th century," the chorus states, juxtaposed against verses that detail the struggles and triumphs of generations.
Reckless Kelly singer and guitarist Willy Braun nearly gave up on the song.
“Writing 'North American Jackpot,’ I kept hitting a wall with the verses and the theme," he tells Taste of Country. "Trouble was, I kept going back to my first idea, a story about my grandparents, which wasn’t really going anywhere, but I couldn’t get away from it. I thought I’d have to scrap this one till it made sense… the problem was, I’d already started writing the rest of the album and was close to being finished."
Still, he knew that "North American Jackpot" was unfinished and "far from the cornerstone it needed to be," so he called songwriter Jeff Crosby and asked for his help.
"The next day he sent a nearly perfect first verse that got me out of the rut and on the right track," Braun recounts. "I wrote a second verse almost immediately and we polished it up in Boise a couple weeks later. I had my cornerstone."
The dual release of American Jackpot and American Girls marks Reckless Kelly's first new music since Sunset Motel in 2015.
"We were actually going to put [American Jackpot] out last year,” Braun tells Billboard. "But I ended up having this idea to make it a double record at the last minute. We went back into the studio a few months after we had wrapped it up and decided to take our time and not rush it. Since it had already been a while, we wanted to do it right, so we just took our time with it.”
The albums are currently available for pre-order and pre-save across a variety of music providers.
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