Robert Earl Keen performed at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC on December 6, 2019 — and I, Andy Jillson, was there snapping pictures and having a blast with his fans. I was extremely fortunate to have obtained a photo pass and review ticket for this show. Keen’s “Countdown to Christmas Tour” was the best holiday concert I’ve ever attended.
For those who don’t know, Robert Earl Keen is an American singer-songwriter hailing from Houston, Texas. He plays several styles of music, but is primarily considered to be Americana. Keen has recorded 18 full-length albums to date and his songs have been covered by country/folk musicians including; George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, The Highwaymen, and the Dixie Chicks.
Keen has toured extensively both in the US and abroad throughout his career, and was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 along with Lyle Lovett and the late Townes Van Zandt. Not too shabby! Not to mention his current band kicks ass.
The Countdown to Christmas Tour was honestly one of the most unique shows I’ve ever experienced. I’m generally not a fan of singer-songwriter/country/folk/bluegrass/Americana. However, Keen and his band kicked out the jams and played lots of great original and cover songs. I had a lot fun visiting the Lincoln Theatre for the first time and hearing/seeing Keen’s music and stage performance for the first time. Wonderful.
This Christmas tour featured its own unique theme: Lunar Tunes & Looney Times, a nod to the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon. Keen, who sang about a voyage to the Earth’s satellite in the Stryker Brothers song, “Charlie Duke Took Country Music to the Moon,” played tunes about the final frontier, the planets, and the Space Race. Of course the centerpiece of the holiday show was the fan favorite “Merry Christmas From the Family.”
Noteworthy cover songs played by the band included; The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” R.E.M.’s “Man on the Moon,” Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad.”
I’m grateful to have had this experience. I was pleasantly surprised. Robert Earl Keen’s show at the Lincoln Theatre was great. Be sure to check out the Official Robert Earl Keen Website for upcoming tour dates and other info about the man and his band.
Here are some more photos of Robert Earl Keen performing at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC on December 6, 2019. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are the property of Andy Jillson/Hazy Eye Music Media.
Stream these Robert Earl Keen albums on Spotify: