Austin based “honky tonk angel”, Kelly Willis steps into the spotlight with her first solo UK tour to launch her brand new album Back Being Blue.
Since her 1990 debut LP, Well Travelled Love, Kelly Willis has populated her albums with a smart blend of twangy country, rollicking rockers and adventurous cover tunes. But one could be forgiven for needing a bit of a refresher on Willis’ outstanding solo records – it’s been eleven years since the release of her most recent one, 2007’s Translated From Love. The Austin-based singer-songwriter has, however, been anything but idle since that time. On the personal front, she and husband, songwriter-producer and fellow artist Bruce Robison had four children in a span of five years and also birthed a pair of exceptional duets albums. The couple has also toured together and separately, visiting the UK last in 2016.
Now, with Back Being Blue, out May 18th on Thirty Tigers, Willis steps into the solo spotlight with her seventh full-length project, an enchanting collection of self-penned tunes and impeccably chosen covers. Showcasing the jagged, vulnerable vocals of a honky-tonk angel who’s also freely dabbled in rockabilly, power pop, new wave and R&B, it’s that last genre that informs the dazzling title tune and which kicked off Willis’ creative process for the new record.
And, as Kelly herself says, playing to her UK audience is a priority this time around. “It’s no secret to musicians in the Americana/Country/Roots world of music, that the UK has an especially savvy, in the know, and appreciative audience. My very limited experiences with getting to perform there have been incredibly fun and memorable for me. I made it a priority to get there this time to celebrate the release of my first solo record in a long, long time. (Let’s not count the years!) I hope to see you at one of these shows!”