Robert Earl Keen: ‘Fort Worth is One of My Favorite Cities’

The country musician is back in the Fort for a holiday performance at Bass Hall.

by Kat Barclay

For years Robert Earl Keen has entertained crowds at popular Fort Worth venues such as Billy Bob’s, Capital Bar and on the other end of the spectrum — Bass Performance Hall, which will host Keen’s sixth annual REK’s Fam-O-Lee Back to the Country Jamboree on Dec. 30.

“It’s more like a Broadway show,” Keen says. “They ham it up with big beautiful lights and decorations.”

The Texas country music artist, who is known for his songs “The Road Goes On Forever” and “Front Porch Song,” began his holiday tour on Nov. 27 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It will make a total of 19 stops across the east coast and south, including Texas stops in Austin, Keen’s hometown of Houston, and Dallas, before wrapping up in Fort Worth. Select stops will include supporting acts from Elizabeth Cook, Doyle & Debbie, Robert Ellis and The Quebe Sisters.

The jamboree set list will feature Keen sing-along classics, including his re-released “Merry Christmas from the Family” from his 1994 LP Gringo Honeymoon. “My Christmas song is arguably my most popular song,” Keen says. The song’s lyrics tell the story of awkward holiday gatherings with dysfunctional family members.

The show will almost feel more like a Christmas variety show, Keen says, playing country while also exploring the rock side of things, with tributes to legendary musicians like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Dwight Yoakam and Neil Young. He says there will also be some mashups in there as well.

“Fort Worth is one of my favorite cities,” Keen said. “If you’re not in the spirit of Christmas when you get there, you will be when you leave.”

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