17 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Robert Earl Keen’s second concert album captures the Kerrville, TX-based songwriter in his element. Recorded over a hot August night in 1995, No. 2 Live Dinner isn’t only a record of one of the state’s great unsung performers — it also captures the atmosphere of the modern Texas honky tonk. The key track might actually be Keen’s spoken introduction to “The Road Goes On Forever,” in which he relates the tale of his car getting torched and his girlfriend getting stolen while visiting Willie Nelson’s Annual 4th of July Picnic in 1974. The crowd cheers Keen and boos the story’s villains, and by the time Keen and his band launch into “The Road Goes On Forever” the entire room is united in a raucous celebration of life’s vagaries. Keen’s band is on fire throughout the album, from the Western Swing of “I’m Going to Town” to the sing-along R&B of “Dreadful Selfish Crime.” As a performer, he always maintains a sense of humor about himself, which makes his passion that much more impactful. The audience is encouraged to laugh along and let go and live it up, which is what gives No. 2 Live Dinner an authenticated feeling of a full night at the local roadhouse.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Robert Earl Keen’s second concert album captures the Kerrville, TX-based songwriter in his element. Recorded over a hot August night in 1995, No. 2 Live Dinner isn’t only a record of one of the state’s great unsung performers — it also captures the atmosphere of the modern Texas honky tonk. The key track might actually be Keen’s spoken introduction to “The Road Goes On Forever,” in which he relates the tale of his car getting torched and his girlfriend getting stolen while visiting Willie Nelson’s Annual 4th of July Picnic in 1974. The crowd cheers Keen and boos the story’s villains, and by the time Keen and his band launch into “The Road Goes On Forever” the entire room is united in a raucous celebration of life’s vagaries. Keen’s band is on fire throughout the album, from the Western Swing of “I’m Going to Town” to the sing-along R&B of “Dreadful Selfish Crime.” As a performer, he always maintains a sense of humor about himself, which makes his passion that much more impactful. The audience is encouraged to laugh along and let go and live it up, which is what gives No. 2 Live Dinner an authenticated feeling of a full night at the local roadhouse.

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