Live Review: Robert Earl Keen @ Lincoln Theatre — 12/6/19

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Robert Earl Keen performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 6, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

“If you want Christmas music,” Robert Earl Keen told the Lincoln Theater recently, “go to the mall.” REK’s Countdown to Christmas Tour steered clear of holiday music until the encore, when he played the fan-favorite “Merry Christmas from the Family,” an ode to the dysfunction and craziness of the holidays.

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Live Review: Tanya Tucker @ The Birchmere — 12/1/19

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Tanya Tucker (Photo courtesy Adkins Publicity)

When Tanya Tucker got to “Bring My Flowers Now” at The Birchmere recently, her band left the stage, leaving just Tanya and her keyboard player. In her deep, rich voice, Tanya sang of her desire to receive flowers — and whatever else — “while I’m livin,” rather than at her funeral.

Tanya told the audience that the gorgeous song had been gestating for decades. When she finished singing it, she received a standing ovation.

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Live Review: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 11/23/19

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers (Photo by Anthony Nguyen)

Chicago’s Bloodshot Records made its bones on a style of alt-country that mixes roots music and punk. While they hail from North Carolina, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers embody this rugged Windy City sound. Sarah’s clever songwriting reworks classic country themes and images with a 21st Century perspective, while her band backs her up hard and fast. Even at the last show of their last tour of the year, they played with energy, thrilling the packed Pearl Street Warehouse recently.

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Preview: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers @ Pearl Street Warehouse, 11/23/19

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers (Photo by John Gessner)

When Sidelong, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ debut album, was released in early 2017, it quickly earned kudos for its blast of fresh, fierce honesty and sly wit. It was a welcome new voice in a genre too often mired in the staid and conventional. The band continued to solidify that reputation in 2018 with Years, their second album, along with nonstop touring.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers return to Pearl Street Warehouse on Saturday, Nov. 23.

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Live Review: Josh Abbott Band @ 9:30 Club — 10/24/19

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Josh Abbott Band (Photo by Joseph Llanes)

From “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” Lubbock to be precise, the Josh Abbott Band brought the house down at the 9:30 Club on Thursday. Opening with “My Texas,” they proudly represented the tradition of that West Texas town that includes Buddy Holly and the Flatlanders.

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