Bruce Robinson & Kelly Willis | City Winery | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

Bruce Robinson & Kelly Willis Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Sat., June 28, 8 p.m. 2014

At this point it’s almost a tradition for artists who got chewed up by the Nashville machine to reinvent themselves as outsiders making records for little indie labels. Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, a married couple from Austin, Texas, have each suffered Music City heartbreak, and a couple years ago they teamed up to make Cheater’s Game, a pleasingly low-key album that wanders through honky-tonk and the literate singer-songwriter fare that Texas is famous for. They’d previously appeared on each other’s records, but now that their casual pairing is a full-fledged partnership, it’s taken off—they just released another album together, Our Year (Premium), and it’s even better. The duo’s ambitions remain modest, but the production and repertoire—which includes hooky new tunes such as “Lonely for You,” written by Willis with Nashville songwriter Paul Kennerley, and a version of the 70s Vern Gosdin number “A Hangin’ On” that’s replete with woozy pedal steel—show off both singers at their best. And Willis’s spot-on rendition of the Jeannie C. Riley hit “Harper Valley PTA” is as joyfully insouciant as anything she’s ever recorded. —Peter Margasak

Price: $22, $25 for premier, $30 for VIP

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