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Four Queens has country by Keen

Alternative country always has been something of a misnomer: It’s not an alternative to anything; it’s real country, the way it was meant to be played. It’s the uber-slick, overproduced country pop of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, etc., that departs from the tried-and-true country-Western ethos.

Robert Earl Keen understands this. A contemporary of Lyle Lovett and k.d. lang, this sturdy Texas songsmith has been crafting earthy, flavorful country since the early ’80s. An ace storyteller, Keen’s albums are the equivalent of an epic page-turner.

See him at 8 p.m. at the Canyon Club at the Four Queens, 202 Fremont St. Tickets are $20; call 385-4011.

— JASON BRACELIN

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