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.
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