Robert Earl Keen

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Robert Earl Keen is regarded as a one-of-a-kind interpreter of the form of country music known as Texas swing. Honky-tonk blues and bluegrass are also a key part of his repertoire and his deep, gravelly voice shines on songs with fine musicianship and a dark sense of humour. He has performed and recorded with fellow exponents of alternative country including Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Bruce Robison, Cory Morrow and Cody Canada and inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. Born in Houston, Keen taught himself to play the guitar and after university he moved to Austin, Texas, where he wrote songs and performed in the numerous nightspots in the home of the South by Southwest music festival. With help from Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith, he produced his first album, 'No Kinda Dancer', in 1984. After a brief stint in Nashville, Tennessee, he returned to Austin and based his future career there. Two albums followed, 'The Live Album' (1988) and 'West Textures' (1989), which featured what became his signature song, 'The Road Goes On Forever'. That led to nationwide concert dates and a series of albums including 'Walking Distance' (1998), 'Gravitational Forces' (2001), 'Live at the Ryman' (2006), 'The Rose Hotel' (2010), which went to number ten on Billboard's Americana/Folk Albums Chart, and 'Ready for Confetti', which reached number three. His 2015 album 'Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions' featured covers of bluegrass favourites with duets with Lyle Lovet and Natalie Maines, formerly with The Dixie Chicks. It reached number one on Billboard's Bluegrass Chart and number five on the Americana/Folk Albums Chart. In 2016, Keen revisited his highly regarded 1996 album 'No. 2 Live Dinner' for a 20th anniversary celebration released on record as 'Live Dinner Reunion'. The two-disc album has 26 tracks and includes many of the artist's enduring songs including 'Tell It Like It Is', performed with Cody Canada, 'This Old Porch', with co-writer Lyle Lovett, 'I'll Go Downtown', with Cody Morrow and 'The Road Goes On Forever' with Joe Ely.

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