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Kelly Willis's refreshingly retro take on country music has charmed Americana fans and the indie crowd, who both appreciate her intelligent, no-nonsense songwriting and unpretentious country-rock yowl. Although her solo career didn't take off til the late 1990s, Willis had some initial success in the band Radio Ranch, who were signed to MCA in '90. MCA repackaged the band as "Kelly Willis," and attempted to make her a crossover star, but after three well-received but low-selling albums, the label dropped her. She took a six-year hiatus and came back strong with '99's WHAT I DESERVE, which dovetailed nicely with the burgeoning new traditionalist movement. She released a few more critically lauded albums over the ensuing years, but in recent years has cut back on both touring and recording while raising her children.