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Kelly Willis
Steamboat Springs 1874
February 14, 1995
11" x 17" (27.9cm x 43.18cm)

Though I didn’t know it at the time, this would be the last poster that I would do for the venerable Austin venue, Steamboat Springs. Though flawed, it was a genuine labor of love; for I was completely enamored with Kelly’s music. Commissioned at a very late date, I was unable to search for an eclectic image and was forced to rely on her standard publicity photograph. Still, the sweetness of her face made it all a pleasure. As an homage to the holiday upon which it occurred I gave her a golden heart-shaped locket with a quartertone highlight. Less effective was my misspelling of that holiday by making a fugitive of its central “n”. Such things can happen when letters are stacked and the artist distracted by an angelic face.


This was the last poster that I did for Steamboat Springs 1874, and it was done while the club was still the premiere venue in Austin’s Sixth Street entertainment district. A genuine sweetheart, it was only appropriate that Kelly play a Valentine’s Day gig. She had only four months before released her debut CD, Kelly Willis, on MCA Records; and as this was a show promotional of that release, its ten cuts were featured prominently. The first cut, Take It All Out on You by her husband Bruce Robison, was receiving the most air play, both locally and nationally. Other songs though were just as strong from the cover of the Kimballs’ hit, Heaven’s Just a Sin Away, to the haunting Kevin Welch piece That’ll Be Me. This was the album that really garnered her the national attention that was ultimately to yield her professional success on that level. The show that night seemed to anticipate it. As February morphed into March, Kelly would leave for Hollywood, where she was to appear with Tim Robbins in the politically dark comedy, Bob Roberts. On this Valentine’s night though she was still a home town sweetheart.

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