If Austin’s happily egalitarian music scene suddenly switched to a monarchy, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis might have to learn to perform while balancing heft crowns. The two already reign as one of Americana music’s coolest couples, and their latest release, Our Year, elevates them closer to the lofty territory once occupied by beloved royals, Johnny ‘n’ June and George ‘n’ Tammy.
Working again in Nashville with producer Brad Jones (Cheater’s Game), they delivered their musical thoughts in 10 outstanding tracks, from formidable originals to well-honed covers including a knockout version of the Tom T. Hall-penned “Harper Valley PTA.” Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 hit sounds like a classic all over again in the hands of this pair — and the chicken-pickin’, mandolin-plucking, shaker-grooving players who back them on this tart tale.
The desire to capture that live dynamic — their “swampier, grittier side” — drove the creation of Our Year, Willis says. Robison calls their style “a modern take on classic country music, without being retro.”
Watch the stunning performance of Bruce and Kelly’s song ‘Harper’s Valley PTA’ here:
2. Motor City Man
4. Lonely For You
5. A Hanging On
6. Shake Yourself Loose
7. Harper Valley PTA
8. Anywhere But Here
9. I’ll Go To My Grave Loving You
10. This Will Be Our Year