Robert Earl Keen Plots New Christmas Tour


By: Jeff Gage

Rolling Stone Country

Christmas has been an important part of Robert Earl Keen's repertoire ever since he released "Merry Christmas From the Family" on his 1994 LP Gringo Honeymoon. This fall, the Texas country artist is keeping the tradition alive with his sixth annual Christmas tour, dubbed REK's Fam-O-Lee Back to the Country Jamboree with Elizabeth Cook, Doyle & Debbie, Robert Ellis, and the Quebe Sisters.

"Nobody has ever told me what to do," says the Texas singer-songwriter about his unorthodox new album 'Happy Prisoner'

A Clark W. Griswold-worthy song about awkward holiday get-togethers with drunken, intolerant relatives, "Merry Christmas From the Family" has become a live staple for Keen, including an appearance on his 1996 live album, No. 2 Live Dinner. Later covered by Dixie Chicks, it even spawned a coffee table book of the same name in 2005.

This year's Christmas-variety-show-meets-country-revue makes 19 stops along the East Coast and in the South, beginning at Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on November 27th and wrapping up one month later at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 30th. Keen will perform in his hometown of Houston on December 26th at House of Blues.

Keen performed last Saturday at the One America Appeal Benefit for Hurricane Victims at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, which was attended by all five living former presidents, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Here's the tour dates for Robert Earl Keen's Christmas tour:

November 27 Chattanooga, TN @ Tivoli Theatre
November 28 Greenville, SC @ The Peace Center
November 30 Macon, GA @ The Cox Capitol Theatre
December 1 Charlotte, NC @ Knight Theater
December 2 North Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Performing Arts
December 3 Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre
December 4 Charlottesville, VA @ The Paramount Theatre
December 6 New York, NY @ Town Hall
December 7 Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
December 8 Knoxville, TN @ Tennessee Theatre
December 9 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
December 10 Birmingham, AL @ The Lyric Theatre
December 12 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Jones Assembly
December 13 Fayetteville, AR @ Walton Arts Center
December 16 Austin, TX @ Moody Theater
December 26 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
December 28 Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
December 29 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
December 30 Fort Worth, TX @ Bass Performance Hall