REK Returns to Harrisburg

"There are very few singer/songwriters who can tell a story through their music as well as Robert Earl Keen — and that is apparent again on his latest release, 2011′s Ready for Confetti with boot-stomper “I Gotta Go” and the fun, sure-to-get-stuck-in-your-head title track.

Robert Earl Keen and his band will return to Harrisburg on Tuesday, Jan. 22 for a show at the Abbey Bar at Appalachian Brewing Company.

“We played at a theater [in Harrisburg] about a year ago and had a real good crowd,” Keen said in a recent telephone interview. “It was really fun and everyone was really excited to see us, so we are coming back.”

Through the years, Keen has penned dozens upon dozens of classic songs, but maybe none as popular as his own look into Christmas in Texas, and my favorite Christmas song — “Merry Christmas From the Family.”

“I grew up in Houston and there is no snow; we mow our grass on Christmas Day. With that in mind, I realized that there was not a Christmas song out there that reflected the way I saw Christmas,” Keen said. “So yes, every piece and bit of information in there is all real. Those are all real people; I changed their names but the changes were so minimal that they all got pissed off at me for about two years.”

“I write a different set list every night. Our last Harrisburg show, we probably played most of what people consider “the hits” and we weren’t playing much from Ready for Confetti. It will be different from what it was last time,” Keen said. “I was always kind of surprised when it became more and more popular to just do the same set every night. I’m not a Deadhead by any means, but I’ve always loved the whole Grateful Dead attitude that the set is always liquid, it always moves around.”"