When Austin guitar player David Abeyta signed on with Reckless Kelly, headliner at this year’s River Fest in Port Neches, it was a strange fit.
A graduate of Berklee College of Music, with a knack for clean, erudite jazz and blues guitar licks, he didn’t match up with the two Idaho country boys, famous for their frayed plaid shirts and a swing fiddle.
Nevertheless, over a decade of work together, Abeyta has helped distinguish the group and allowed them to rise above the over-saturated country rock scene along Austin’s Sixth Street.
Today, Reckless tours the country year round, playing up to 200 shows a year.
Abeyta described his introduction into the band.
“I jumped into a van 12 years ago and never turned around,” he said.
Coming out of a sophisticated schooling at Berklee, a Boston music academy that boasts 95 Grammy Award winning artists, and 215 individual Grammy Awards, his colleagues must have had high-flown expectations for the picker.
“In the beginning, it kind of forced me to revisit some of the country stuff, although certainly my jazz chops have are not what they used to be,” said Abeyta.
The country lyrics, written almost exclusively by singer Willie Braun, and Abeyta’s crystal clean notes are the meat and potatoes of this group.
“I just tried to take the blues and jazz ideas and apply it to a country rock format,” said Abeyta. “I think the weirdness of what I bring has yielded something interesting to our fans.”
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