Twenty-one years ago, Robert Earl Keen, his band, and a few musician buddies played the John T. Floore Country Store, the legendary Texas dance hall and café, and rolled tape on the set. He released the recording (along with a pair of songs recorded elsewhere) in 1996 as No. 2 Live Dinner, and it went on to become one of the storytelling troubadour’s most beloved and best-selling albums.
To mark the occasion, Keen invited old and new friends to play the venue again, with Reckless Kelly and Cody Canada and the Departed playing opening sets. And, once again, Keen recorded the set.
Keen talked to us a bit about the new live record, Live Dinner Reunion, saying he hadn’t initially planned to have a 20th-anniversary sequel to No. 2 Live Dinner.
“We had just an outpouring and celebration of friendship and music,” Keen says of the Floore gig. “It was a really, really good show, and we recorded it. The whole idea behind recording it was, I just wanted to have it. And as the year progressed, I listened to it and thought there was some stuff that was worthwhile and people might like.”