REK #2

I got lost Tuesday, with the holiday and all. I wanted to write about seeing a real version of Number Two Dinner – only better because it was there.

Early on, he sang the Christmas Song, along with amusing stage banter about why he was singing the song, and how he couldn’t sing it too early in the season, although, he did think it was a timeless classic. Which it is.

Robert Earl Keen at Floores transcends many levels. At the picnic table next to us, there was an older couple, then a pair I would guess as daughter and husband, and finally, two boys, maybe six, eight, possibly ten or twelve years old. Three generations.

The opening verse to the Christmas Song, “Mom got drunk, and Dad got drunk/At our Christmas party” and either you know the rest, and we’re all singing along, or you don’t, and this is lost.

Which is part of the point. Perhaps this music does transcend. Or maybe it’s just local. The two boys next to us were playing video games most of the night. The grandfather didn’t recognize one song, and asked me if it was from the most recent album. I just nodded, “Yes.”

Which, technically, wasn’t true, but it was the most recent studio album – rather – CD – since I’ve never even seen a Robert Earl Keen album.

“I’ve got them all except that last one,” the grandfather told me.

“Keeps getting better and better,” I added.

By the end of the night, the boys’ mom and dad had joined the crowd at the edge of the stage, but the grandparents were sitting on the picnic tables with those two boys cuddled up and asleep. Passed out.

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