Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen will present a special performance “Robert Earl Keen Celebrates Mardi Gras” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., in Galveston.

Darren Carroll/Courtesy

Robert Earl Keen, pioneer of Americana music and a living legend to many, will be trekking back to the island for a special performance — Mardi Gras style.

Keen will help kick off Galveston Island Mardi Gras festivities at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., in Galveston.

“Robert Earl Keen has said that The Grand is one of his favorite places to play and we feel the same,” said Maureen M. Patton, executive director of The Grand. “Nothing shows off a born and bred storytelling singer like The Grand and what better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with Robert Earl’s music, humor and laughter.”

A proud Houstonian and native Texan, Keen has been on countless tours with the likes of Lyle Lovett, and has performed with Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Eric Church just to name a few. Keen will be performing some “oldies but goodies” as well as songs off his latest release “Live Dinner Reunion,” which celebrates the 20th anniversary of his first live album.

“The people who have experienced our show know we keep it upbeat and fun,” Keen said. “Lately, we’ve been adding and resurrecting songs, new and old, that fan that flame. Road time is not always about miles and green M&M’s. We are always working to improve the show. You’ll bask in the fruits of our labor when you see this show.”

Keen, who was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2012, also was honored in 2015 as the first recipient of BMI’s official Troubadour Award.

Calling The Grand his “favorite gig” and the “biggest little room in the world,” Keen particularly likes the vibe of the performance space because it tends to put everyone at ease.

“It’s as if you’re sitting in the living room of your own home,” Keen said. “The Grand, as the name suggests, provides a formal setting, yet almost magically, the room is friendly and familiar. If I could have an apartment there, I’d move in.”

For tickets and information, visit or call 800-821-1894.

“Mardi Gras in Galveston is like going back in time to the glory days of Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” Keen said. “I like the authenticity and family-friendly nature of Galveston Mardi Gras. Did I mention I love Galveston? If I could get a bumper sticker that said that, I would.”

Contact Community News Editor Angela Wilson, or 409-683-5239.

Angela Wilson is the community news editor for The Daily News.

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