Robert Earl Keen is a Texas born singer/songwriter who has built a cult following of both fans and musicians alike. He is a better writer than singer but that is not meant to damn with faint praise. After all, he was journalism major in college. Many of the musicians from in and around Texas credit Keen with being the grandfather of the Texas music scene.
In 1984 Keen self financed the release of his debut album No Kind of Dancer features The Front Porch Song, which he wrote in college with Lyle Lovett. In 1986 he made the trek to Nashville but was unable to score a recording deal. In 1989, Keen released his national debut West Textures contains his now signature song, The Road Goes On Forever. With the release of 1993’s A Bigger Piece of Sky, Keen gained a larger fan base and some critical acclaim which in large part can be attributed to his rigorous touring schedule of almost 200 dates per year that he kept up in the 90’s.
Keen’s music is bathed in humor, the hills and landscape of Texas as well as the cast of characters he has met along the way. His 1994 album Gringo Honeymoon has Keen covering the great Steve Earle’s Tom Ames’ Prayer. His 1997 release Picnic features the duet Then Came Lo Mein with Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins as well as his cover of James McMurtry’s Levelland.
Robert Earl Keen Discography:
- No Kind of Dancer
- The Live Album
- West Textures
- A Bigger Piece of Sky
- Gringo Honeymoon
- No. 2 Live Diner
- Walking Distance
- Gravitational Forces
- Farm Fresh Onions
- The Party Never Ends
- Live from Austin
- What I Really Mean
- Live at the Ryman
- Marfa After Dark
- The Rose Hotel
Top Five Robert Earl Keen Songs:
- Mariano (West Textures)
- Lynnville Train (Gringo Honeymoon)
- Rolling By (No Kind of Dancer)
- Shades of Grey (Picnic)
- Road to No Return/Carolina, New Life in Old Mexico, Still Without You (Walking Distance) This is actually a trilogy(Tracks 7-9) of songs and perhaps the finest work he has ever done
Keen began an annual music fest, Texas Uprising that showcased local talent and took place in a variety of locations around Texas. I believe that this, in addition to his great music, is why so many of the bands that have been lumped in the Texas music scene feel such reverence for Keen and his music.
Check out Robert Earl Keen at www.robertearlkeen.com
Robert Earl Keen’s music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.robertearlkeen.com.
Great music awaits!