Interviews

Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison: The First Couple of Texas Country Music

ASSOCIATED PRESS

True love stories in the country music industry can sometimes feel few and far between. But, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis make love and music a refreshing topic down in Austin, Texas.

Robison and Willis are both acclaimed singer-songwriters in not only Texas but all around the country music world. The couple released their fourth studio album, Beautiful Lie, in 2019. Taking a short look back into time, it seems that the couple has been working together for the entirety of their careers. However, that is not true.

They two got married in 1996, but they were both following their own careers at the time. Willis told The Dallas Morning News, "We always had our own path to pursue, but over the years, we found ourselves doing more and more little things together. Harmonies or sitting in with each other. We felt we had a lot to prove individually in the early days. Now we are each secure in who we are. And honestly feel the other one makes us better. Better artists, better performers."

Willis was signed to MCA Records after Tony Brown (George Strait and Reba McEntire's producer) heard her. She recorded three albums under the Nashville record label. She was cast in music videos and modeled for magazines. She was also nominated for ACM Top Female Vocalist of the Year in 1993.

Willis mentioned in the same interview that "I've learned to just keep showing up. I never understood the artists who quit after a project didn't sell... there is always more music to make."

This mindset has kept her successful in the industry after all of these years.

Robison issued his first self-titled LP in 1995 and has been making music ever since. He has released twelve studio albums and has had songs cut by The Chicks, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill and George Strait.

"Writing is where it all starts for me," he explains in his bio featured on his website. "Whether it's my writing or songs I want to do with somebody else. I love the mechanics of it; how simple it can be."

Read More: Bruce Robison on 'Wrapped' Re-Release, The Next Waltz and Hearing George Strait Sing His Songs

Willis and Robison have released four records together, Happy Holidays, Cheaters Game, Our Year and Beautiful Lies. The couple has been coined as the First Couple of Texas County, but Willis knows that putting up a facade will do nothing but hurt her marriage.

"I've always made sure that Bruce and I do not get into the business of selling 'happily married,' I don't want to turn our married into showbiz. We just try to balance making music together with living our lives together, too."

Bruce & Kelly Together

"Angry All The Time," Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis

 

"Tennessee Blues," Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis / The Next Waltz

 

 

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Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison: The First Couple of Texas Country Music