“Kelly Willis looks back to country music before Nashville embraced power ballads and cute happily-ever-after songs …Whether she was wishing for comfort, admitting to a bruised heart, yielding to illicit romance or trying to say goodbye, her voice was modest and true, illuminating the delicate tension and pain in every line.” –The New York Times

“A long-time standard-bearer of contemporary country music.” –NPR Music

“Possessed with a killer voice that exudes honky-tonk heartache— and can also rock out— Willis has a few decades-worth of material to pull from, all of it worth hearing.” –Rolling Stone Country

Kelly Willis’ “Only You,” the new single from her forthcoming album Back Being Blue, is premiering now at The Boot. Read HERE and share the track 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 Love. Willis’ 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. NPR’s Fresh Air termed the album, “…a terrific piece of pop opera…” While Interview Magazine echoed, “…Kelly Willis ultimately blows away the year’s biggest noisemakers.”

For more information, please contact Samantha Tillman, Selena Coles or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.



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