Saturday To-Do: Robert Earl Keen | Rock Candy

Friday, August 28, 2009

Saturday To-Do: Robert Earl Keen

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 1:09 PM

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ROBERT EARL KEEN
9 p.m., Revolution. $25.

A few years back, Robert Earl Keen put out a greatest hits compilation with a title that says it all: “The Party Never Ends: Songs You Know from the Times You Can't Remember.” For a quarter century, the Houston native's been cranking out country ditties that stay with you. A master of the double entendre and pun — the bedrock of country songwriting — but always with a little bit of edge, Keen's a little to the left of the establishment. His finest narrative songs usually end in death or despair. His love songs forego grand gestures for the simple pleasures — a cold beer in the shade, a glimpse of a grin across the room. Hell, even his Christmas song starts out, “Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk at our Christmas party.” In sum, Keen makes music for the happy misanthrope inside all of us, built around lyrics that are really fun to holler along to drunkenly. In addition to the ultra-familiar (it's the 20th anniversary of “The Road Goes on Forever”), look out for a few you won't know. Keen's first studio album since 2005 is due out Sept. 29 on Lost Highway. It's got a guest appearance by Billy Bob Thornton and a tribute song to Levon Helm. Bet we'll hear about it.

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