Robert Earl Keen
1006 Van Buren Ave.
Oxford, MS, 38655
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM (event ends at 11:00 PM)
Robert Earl Keen
It's not always easy to sum up a career — let alone a life's ambition — so succinctly, but those five words from Robert Earl Keen's calling-card anthem just about do it. You can complete the lyric with the next five words — the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by thousands of fans a night ("and the party never ends!") — just to punctuate the point with a flourish, but it's the part about the journey that gets right to the heart of what makes Keen tick. Some people take up a life of playing music with the goal of someday reaching a destination of fame and fortune; but from the get-go, Keen just wanted to write and sing his own songs, and to keep writing and singing them for as long as possible.
"I always thought that I wanted to play music, and I always knew that you had to get some recognition in order to continue to play music," Keen says. "But I never thought of it in terms of getting to be a big star. I thought of it in terms of having a really, really good career and writing some good songs, and getting onstage and having a really good time."
Now three-decades on from the release of his debut album — with well over a dozen other records to his name, thousands of shows under his belt and still no end in sight to the road ahead — Keen remains as committed to and inspired by his muse as ever. And as for accruing recognition, well, he's done alright on that front, too; from his humble beginnings on the Texas folk scene, he's blazed a peer, critic, and fan-lauded trail that's earned him living-legend (not to mention pioneer) status in the Americana music world. And though the Houston native has never worn his Texas heart on his sleeve, he's long been regarded as one of the Lone Star State's finest (not to mention top-drawing) true singer-songwriters. He was still a relative unknown in 1989 when his second studio album, West Textures, was released — especially on the triple bill he shared at the time touring with legends Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark — but once fellow Texas icon Joe Ely recorded both "The Road Goes on Forever" and "Whenever Kindness Fails" on his 1993 album, Love and Danger, the secret was out on Keen's credentials as a songwriter's songwriter. By the end of the decade, Keen was a veritable household name in Texas, headlining a millennial New Year's Eve celebration in Austin that drew an estimated 200,000 people. Keen has continued to write, record, and tour across the nation. In 2001 he released Gravitational Forces, followed by Farm Fresh Onions (2003), What I Really Mean (2005) The Rose Hotel (2009) and 2011's Ready for Confetti . In 2012, he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame along with the late, great Van Zandt and his old college buddy, Lyle Lovett.
George McConnell picked up his first guitar at age 15, and he's been picking them up ever since. As both a player and purveyor of guitars, he has amassed quite a collection of sounds, songs and stringed instruments. He's served as lead guitarist in the bands Beanland, Kudzu Kings and Widespread Panic. In his spare time, he helmed a vintage guitar store on the historic Oxford Square.
McConnell first learned the ways of the world under the careful teaching of a truck driver named Lulu. When he was just ten years old, McConnell worked on the back of a beer truck with Lulu, traveling to juke joints and pool halls delivering delicious Falstaff in the Mississippi Delta.
McConnell grew up in the river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. halfway between New Orleans and Memphis. Thus began exposure to the wide swath of music that inhabits the Mississippi soul. Over the years he crossed paths with musicians from the worlds of jazz, soul, blues, country and rock 'n roll; in effect, McConnell couldn't help but become the player that he is blurring these styles of music together. These experiences led him to become a full time musician, worse than that - a singing, guitar player; despite his family and friends', wishes for a better life. This is music that can only be called rock 'n roll.
With nearly two decades of stage experience under his belt, McConnell unleashes these new songs to take out on a "singles" only date, and have your way with them. So cozy up to your internet and pretend you are buying a real vinyl 45. Punch the button to download the way it used to be.
Those songs have been percolating in McConnell's Oxford studio, and will be released in the following months through a series of downloadable singles, packaged together in "Virutal 45" form as a two-track (A-side and B-side) package.
Lulu would be proud.
$25.00 - $50.00
All minors (17 and under) MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
A $3 underage fee will be collected from all persons at the door under 21. Cash only.