Robert Earl Keen Cooks Up
Red-Hot Live Dinner Reunion on November 18, 2016
Americana Music Icon Robert Earl Keen had no expectations when he released No. 2 Live Dinner in 1996. The infectiously fun, raw-edged project captured the audience enthusiasm and turned out to be his biggest-selling album.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the milestone record, he returned to the legendary John T. Floore’s Country Store in the Texas Hill Country town of Helotes and upped the ante by inviting a few friends and fellow Americana and Texas Music stars to sing along. They include Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Cory Morrow, Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed and The Departed, Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly and Bruce Robison. Some 5,000 fans added their voices to the historic occasion. The result is a rousing double-disc celebration, Live Dinner Reunion, set for release November 18, 2016 on Dualtone Records, an Entertainment One company. Die-hard fans can snare a double vinyl album early 2017. Live Dinner Reunion is available for preorder now.
Keen’s expectations for Live Dinner Reunion are a bit higher this time around. “It was a really great night. I’m sure a lot of people will like it,” he says slyly. “It’s a good cross section of my songs and my friends singing my songs. For instance, Lyle and I sang ‘This Old Porch,’ Bruce sang ‘No Kinda Dancer,’ and Cory sang ‘I’ll Go On Downtown.'”
To recreate the unique vibe of the original live album, he returned to Floore’s, a Texas-style dance hall and cafe with a storied history reaching back to 1942. It features rustic signs and sayings, worn wooden floors, scores of cowboy boots nailed to the ceiling and an outdoor stage for large crowds.
“Robert Earl Keen’s show at Floore’s Country Store celebrating the 20th anniversary of the quintessential No. 2 Live Dinner was the stuff of honky-tonk legend. A night that reminded us why we love live music,” says Mark McKinney of Floore’s.
When his career was just taking off in 1990, Keen finally landed a gig at Floore’s. Now he returns there once a year. “I’ve always had a great time there,” he says. “I really love that place, the whole outdoor space where everybody can move around.”
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