Omni Fort Worth Hotel
1300 Houston Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Cowtown Unplugged: A Songwriter's Showcase


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Willy & Cody Braun

Cowtown Unplugged’s headliner duo, Willy & Cody Braun, Cody and Willy Braun grew up in the White Cloud Mountains of Idaho. They moved to Bend, Oregon, and then migrated to that great musical fountainhead, Austin, Texas. The band’s co-founders and frontmen toured the country as part of their father’s band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys. As kids, the Brauns – Cody, Willy, Micky and Gary – shared a stage with the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell and Merle Haggard. They overcame hardships, struggled for recognition, and learned the lessons of the trial and error that defined them. Reckless Kelly, born in the dreams of the two Braun brothers and their heritage but nurtured in the bumpy road of maturity, became the very essence of Americana music in all its far-flung glory. “We came along in that second wave of the movement,” Cody Braun says. “Son Volt’s album Trace had a major effect on us. People like Joe Ely, Ray Kennedy and Robert Earl Keen were always big supporters. Our goal was to make music that had a country vibe but a solid rock edge.” Willy Braun wrote half the songs of Millican, 1998’s self-released debut, in an abandoned school bus, where he had lived for six months in Bend. The effect of that album was to emblazon a reputation as a band of no-nonsense insurgents that could raise the rafters while retaining a heart and soul of honesty, soul and conviction. “We’re at the point where we’re not content to be categorized as simply a party band anymore,” Willy says. “We would like folks to really hear these songs, to be able to hear the lyrics and appreciate the musicianship that goes into the arrangements. Yes, we still want our audiences to have a good time, but we also want to show that this is a real band with a cohesive attitude and a muscular backbone, as well.”

Cody Canada

Cody Canada, the other half of the double headliner, was born May 25, 1976, in Pampa, Texas and is an American rock/alt-country musician who currently is the lead singer and lead guitarist of the rock band The Departed since 2010. From 1994 to 2010, Canada was the lead singer of rock/alt country band Cross Canadian Ragweed. He acquired a taste for music after attending a George Strait concert with his parents at the age of four. The next day he asked for a guitar. Canada first started playing guitar at the age of eight. While Cody was a teen, the Canada family relocated to Yukon, Oklahoma and as a teenager was drawn to rock bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam and outlaw country. On November 19, 2013, Cody Canada released a solo acoustic 2-disc album Some Old, Some New, Maybe a Cover or Two. The album was recorded live at Third Coast Music in Port Aransas, Texas, with 19 songs from throughout Canada's career, including works with Cross Canadian Ragweed and The Departed. On November 13, 2015, Cody Canada released a two-disc, 35-track album with Mike McClure, Chip and Ray, Together Again for the First Time. The album was recorded in Port Aransas, Texas, and features songs they worked on or recorded together.

Jonathan Tyler

A Texan since childhood, Jonathan Tyler has grown up enamored with the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll – and its ancestors. In 2007 he formed Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, who released their debut full-length album Hot Trottin’ to widespread acclaim. At the 2009 Dallas Observer Music Awards, Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights walked away with “Best Group,” “Best Blues Act,” and “Best Male Vocalist.” Tyler would go on to win the latter award again the following year. The band was promptly signed to F-Stop/Atlantic Records and released Pardon Me in 2010, leading to television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Gordon Keith Show, as well as tours supporting ZZ Top, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Black Crowes, and appearances at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and Austin City Limits. In 2015, he released his debut solo album Holy Smokes – a genre-bending opus celebrating perseverance in the face of life’s twists and turns. Along the way, he has mastered the art of the sounds between the sounds – honing his role behind the boards as a producer for Nikki Lane, Desure, Jeff Crosby and others. At the moment he’s working on a follow-up to Holy Smokes, featuring hit singles like “Old Friend,” “Underground Forever,” and “Hustlin.”