It’s been a while since we’ve heard new cowboy songs and songs of rodeo and bull riding. “Broken Bones” by Kelly Keening caught our attention the other day, so let’s learn more about this talented artist.
Kelly Kenning is a native Texan, born with Country Music in his blood. The only child of a mom who once sang country music and a dad who became the Vice President of the Whataburger Inc. franchise in Alice, young Mr. Kenning moved his family to San Antonio.
During their brief stay there, Kelly performed at the Whataburger Convention at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso, New Mexico, at the ripe old age of eleven.
Kelly formed a new band called The Rocking Horse Riders, named after a song he had on radio at the time. Their sound was traditional, derived from similar sounds of Kelly’s strongest influences including the likes of Johnny Rodriguez, George Strait, Vern Gosdin, Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck, and Freddy Fender.
Kelly covered a lot of ground between his days with the rocking Horse Riders and eventually moved to Nashville in 1996. He traveled the highways and byways of Texas, playing music and honing his craft. Intent on developing his vocal abilities, he would drive the grueling four-hour trip to Houston every week to take voice lessons from respected vocal coach, Debbie Beinhorn.
Kenning’s fondness for the music of Johnny Rodriguez is very evident in his delivery and his bi-lingual skills. “Johnny was a huge influence on me as an artist, and being from south Texas, I speak a little Spanish. Kelly is no stranger to the Texas Music Chart, he and Pauline Reese just came off a long running chart Duo (“Let’s get together and Say Goodbye) peaking in December at Number 24.
Kelly also enjoyed success with “She Beat the Cheat out Me” not once but twice as a Duo with Johnny Lee, the second time around. “Broken Bones” represent one of Kelly’s finest vocal performances to date. The song tells the story of a Rodeo Cowboy’s loves and hurts while chasing his dreams on the Rodeo circuit through the Texas and the Southwest.
We chose to release it on the day the World Famous Rodeo Houston opens its doors.