If you are looking for a true, family-friendly Idaho experience - music, mountains, and hospitality - the Braun Brother Reunion is the perfect introduction to Central Idaho’s long-standing culture.
Idaho is known for its unique geographical beauties, but the culture of Idaho has inspired so much more than outdoor recreation. The beautiful Idaho landscape and pioneer culture has inspired many musicians that have made a significant name in the music scene like the Braun Brothers.
Believe it or not, many local artists have influenced the country music scene in staple cities such as Nashville, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas. A couple of these artists are the Braun brothers - Willy, Cody, Gary, and Micky Braun. They grew up just north of Stanley, Idaho, and with the influence of their father, Muzzie Braun, the four brothers took to music as their favorite pastime. As the brothers grew older, they formed their own sound and bands. Willy and Cody Braun started Reckless Kelly, a rock band with country influence, and Micky and Gary formed a country-influenced band called Micky & the Motorcars.
Photo Credit: Braun Brothers Reunion
The brothers are pioneers for not only the Idaho music scene but also made a huge impact in the Texas country scene. Although they all reside in Austin, Texas, they continue to nod to their Idaho roots. Every year, as their father did before them, they host the Braun Brother Reunion in the small town of Challis, Idaho.
The Reunion was a tradition started by their father over 35 years ago in Stanley, Idaho. As the brothers grew in the music scene, they outgrew their Stanley venue and moved it north to Challis. Now, the Braun Brother Reunion is a huge tourist attraction for Challis and the Salmon River Region. Although the small city of Challis has a population of just under 750 residents, the event brings an estimated 3000 people to the area - making it the largest event in Challis, Idaho. Not only does the reunion give back to this small town through economic growth, but they also give back to the community through a scholarship program for local high schoolers and donations to the local community for education, art, and senior programs.
“Of course artists love Idaho for its beautiful landscape and perfect weather, but mostly they are impressed with the laid-back community of people who feel lucky to experience the music we bring,” said Willy Braun. “It is rare to see that kind of enthusiasm!”
Because of the Braun brothers’ influence in the music scene, they are able to share their unique Idaho community with many Texas artists including Randy Rogers, Turnpike Troubadours, Ned LeDoux, Jack Ingram, and Cody Canada. Each artist is impressed by what Idaho has to offer. Although Texas has a great music scene, there is so much music that sometimes it causes an over-saturated market for the fans. Idaho fans show up in droves, ready to support new and returning musicians because performances are typically fewer and farther between in the rural communities - giving Texas fans a run for their money.
Photo Credit: Braun Brothers Reunion
Through the years, Willy Braun has seen Idaho’s growth through his own eyes. “The secret is out,” he said. “You can’t fault anyone for moving here - it’s beautiful. I just hope the people coming into Idaho don’t change it too much - still respect Idaho’s wilderness, laid back and hard-working lifestyle, and keep Idaho true.”
Because of their love for Idaho, the four brothers continue to support the community that helped shape their careers. By bringing new music and an annual event to the area, the Braun Brother Reunion truly makes a positive impact on rural communities that can sometimes struggle to keep up with the changing economic climate in Idaho.
The music doesn’t end at Boise’s city limits. Challis is only a short drive from the Treasure Valley, with hundreds of camping options - it is the perfect weekend getaway. To get an authentic Idaho experience, Totally Boise encourages you to explore the surrounding communities and the music scene they have to offer. The Braun family welcomes you and your family to the 2021 Braun Brother Reunion on August 12 - 14th in Challis, Idaho.
Learn more by visiting the Braun Brothers Reunion site below: