Kelly Willis: The Return Of New Traditions

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Kelly Willis

After her tour this past spring, Kelly Willis announced that she would not return to the stage for "who knows how long" in order to care for her family. Brian Blauser hide caption

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A long-time standard-bearer of contemporary country music, Kelly Willis has made herself scarce in recent years. But the Austin, Tex.-based singer-songwriter returned in 2007 with both a new album and a tour stop at Mountain Stage, performing on location in Bristol, Tenn./Va.

Willis' career has spanned rockabilly and alternative country-rock ever since she was first championed to major record labels by famed folksinger Nanci Griffith. Willis broke into the mainstream with hits such as "Heaven's Just a Sin Away" and the "Whatever Way the Wind Blows" from her self-titled 1993 album.

After a five-year hiatus spent raising her four children with husband and songwriter Bruce Robison, Willis returned last year with Translated From Love. Produced by longtime collaborator Chuck Prophet, Translateddraws songs from a variety of sources, including Prophet, Robison, Jules Shear, and even Iggy Pop. After touring in support of the album, she recently announced another indefinite break from performing.

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Kelly Willis

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