Kelly Willis’ “Only You,” the new single from her forthcoming album Back Being Blue, is premiering now at The Boot. Read HERE. Willis explains, “I did feel like I was going out on a limb a little bit … but it has quickly become one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.”

Back Being Blue is out May 18 on Premium Records/Thirty Tigers, and Willis begins her much anticipated North American tour on April 19 in Austin, TX. See below for a complete list of dates.

Back Being Blue is Willis’ seventh full-length studio album and her first solo project since her 2007 LP Translated from LoveWillis’ husband, Bruce Robison produced the new album analogue style in his rural recording studio in their home state of Texas. Willis wrote six of the 10 tracks herself, with help from the likes of Rodney Crowell on the additional four. Notable guests on the record include Eleanor Whitmore (of The Mastersons and Steve Earle and the Dukes), Mark Spencer (of Son Volt) and Trevor Nealon (of Band of Heathens). The pledge campaign and preorder for Back Being Blue can be found HERE.

Willis explains, “I attempted to make music that could fit in any era but leans on the simplicity of the music that first inspired me. Roots rockabilly country blues, to narrow it down for you! Kind of a Nick Lowe meets Skeeter Davis meets Crystal Gayle. Sounds that were in full blaze when I first moved Austin.”

Willis is herself a longtime feature in the city, having moved to Austin to pursue music shortly after graduating from high school. Not long after, famed singer/songwriter Nancy Griffith took a shine to her voice and recommended Willis to producer Tony Brown, one of the titans of Nashville country, who signed her to a deal with MCA. Willis found herself in the spotlight of country music world in Nashville, with three albums released to widespread critical acclaim.

In the intervening years, Willis’ refined her signature alt-country style on her own terms, releasing three full-length albums, and collaborating with her husband Bruce Robison on additional projects. Her last album, Translated from Love, was released in 2007 to ardent critical praise.


April 19— Austin, TX—KGSR’s Unplugged at Shady Grove

April 25—Fort Worth, TX—The Yard

May 18—Bastrop, TX—Bastrop Music Festival

May 19—Houston, TX—Mcgonigel’s Mucky Duck

May 20—Gruene, TX—Gruene Hall KNBT Music Festival

May 26—Dallas, TX—Kessler Theater

June 2—Austin, TX—Stateside Theater

June 4—Cambridge, MA—Atwoods

June 5—New York City, NY—The Loft at City Winery

June 6—Pawling, NY—Daryl’s House

June 8—Alexandria, VA—Birchmere

June 9—Norfolk, VA—North Point House Concerts

June 10—Annapolis, MD—Rams Head On Stage

June 16—Eden, TX—Green Apple Arts Center

June 22—Gruene, TX—Gruene Hall

June 23—Franklin, TN—The Franklin Theatre

June 24—Atlanta, GA—Smithe’s Olde Bar

June 29—Columbus, OH—Natalie’s

June 30—Chicago, IL—TBD

July 1—St Louis, MO—Off Broadway

July 21—Gateshead, UK—Sage Gateshead

July 23—Bristol, UK—Redgrave Theatre

July 24—London, UK—The Lexington

July 25—Nottingham, UK—The Maze

July 27—Bury, UK—The Met

July 28—Leeds, UK—Seven Arts

July 29—Edinburgh, UK—Voodoo Room

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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