Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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MerleFest announces artist additions to April 26-29, 2018, lineup

Greensboro, North Carolina, native and Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens is among the more than 75 artists scheduled to perform April 26-29 at MerleFest on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, festival organizers announced today.

Giddens, who is also a recent $625,000 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient and a welcome addition to the hit TV show, “Nashville,” is among four additional artists revealed by the festival along with Elephant Revival, Rodney Crowell and Shinyribs. Continue reading

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Six questions with Robert Earl Keen, who kicks off his ‘Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee’ holiday show tour on Monday, Nov. 27

If you haven’t bought your tickets for Americana icon Robert Earl Keen’s annual holiday show tour, “Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee,” that kicks off Monday, Nov. 27, at the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it’s not too late. And if you’ve never experienced it’s sure to become a favorite family tradition. Continue reading

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It’s not too soon to reserve tickets for Robert Earl Keen’s expanded annual Christmas Tour

If you think it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas, I would agree. The sight of Christmas debris I spotted lining shelves at the local discount store this weekend, pushing Halloween and autumn decor aside, made me inwardly groan. Visions of Kenan Thompson’s now infamous Saturday Night Live skit, in which he declares it’s “too soon” for Yuletide decorations, echoed in my head.

But there is one holiday tradition to plan for that’s never too soon. It’s Americana icon Robert Earl Keen’s annual holiday show and some tickets for this coveted event, “Back to the Country Jamboree,” go on sale Monday, Sept. 18. Continue reading

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Robert Earl Keen hits the right note with ‘Live Dinner Reunion’ 20 years after ‘No. 2 Live Dinner’ release

You know  Robert Earl Keen is an amazing musician and entertainer. What you may not know is that he’s funny. Really funny.

If you have ever heard the West Texas troubadour trading one-liners with Charlotte DJs John Boy and Billon their Big Show or seen him live in concert at one of the myriad music festivals he headlines, you might have guessed he’s got a sense of humor. But in one-on-one conversations, he drops one-liners faster than Jim Gaffigan.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t be serious. And make no mistake, he’s serious about his music. But not too serious.

Keen’s biggest-selling album, 1996’s “No. 2 Live Dinner,” was in fact an accident.

“That one was totally raw and reckless,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I truly didn’t intend to make a record. It was truly a grassroots kind of thing. For a year there, you could hear that record blasting out of dorm rooms, bars, cars and parties. It was warts and all but it was fun.”

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Robert Earl Keen celebrates 20th anniversary of ‘No. 2 Live Dinner’ with new album, tour that kicks off Nov. 29

Americana music icon Robert Earl Keen has released “Live Dinner Reunion” 20 years after he released “No. 2 Live Dinner,” his biggest-selling album to date. But this time he has brought along a few friends including friend and recent touring partner Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Cory Morrow, Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed and The Departed, Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly and Bruce Robison along with some 5,000 fans.

If you haven’t had the chance to see REK live, now is your chance and I highly recommend it. I had the opportunity to see him perform live a few years ago at Red Wing Roots Festival and he put on one of the best live shows I have seen.

Following is the press release announcing the new album and some upcoming tour stops including the historic Ryman Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Remember Pat Green? You can catch him playing his new album at Ziggys on Wednesday, March 11

Singer-songwriter Pat Green’s claim to fame is the haunting, “Wave on Wave,” a crossover smash hit which topped the charts more than a decade ago. But the Texas native is no one-hit wonder. In fact, he has a new album out, “What I’m For,” and he’s coming to Ziggy’s at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, in Winston-Salem. If you like Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Jimmy Buffet and Dierks Bentley, you won’t want to miss Green’s show. Advanced tickets are $17 and $20 at the door. Buy tickets here.
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Robert Earl Keen added to MerleFest 2015 lineup

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Robert Earl Keen fans will be thrilled to learn that the Texas American singer-songwriter is joining the lineup for MerleFest, set for April 23-26, 2015. The four-day event, an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, will once again take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. Continue reading