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Robert Earl Keen: Wikis


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Robert Earl Keen, Jr.

Background information
Born January 11, 1956 (1956-01-11) (age 54)
Origin Houston, Texas, U.S.
Genres Country, Country rock
Alternative country, Folk, Texas Country
Occupations Singer, Songwriter
Instruments Acoustic Guitar
Years active 1984 – Present
Labels Arista Records
Sugar Hill Records
KOCH Records

Robert Earl Keen, Junior (born January 11, 1956 in Houston, Texas)[1] is a Texan singer-songwriter. He is popular with traditional country music fans, folk music fans, the college radio crowd and alt-country fans. Keen currently resides in Kerrville, Texas and maintains a ranch in Medina, Texas.


Early life

Growing up, Keen was interested in music, sports, movies and writing. Keen graduated from Sharpstown High School in 1974.[2]


Keen attended Texas A&M University, where he majored in English. Disappointed in the College Station music scene, he began playing guitar and learned to read and write music, basing his style on folk, country, blues and rock roots. In 1974 he rented a house from landlord Jack Boyett, where his neighbor was a then-unknown Lyle Lovett. The two became fast friends and performed together on the front porch many evenings. This eventually grew into inspiration for a song entitled "The Front Porch Song", which both would add to their repertoire.


In 1980, Keen graduated from Texas A&M and moved to Austin, Texas, where he began writing for a newspaper. Soon he was performing in Austin's nightclubs and live music venues, building a solid following. In 1984 he financed the recording of his own EP and distributed it regionally. In 1986, He moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Discouraged by the polish of the new country sound and unable to land a recording contract, Keen moved back to Austin. In 1988, he was living in Bandera, Texas, with his wife, Kathleen. In 1989 he released his national debut album, West Textures. His 1993 release, A Bigger Piece Of Sky, gained wider acclaim, both amongst fans and critics. Over the next ten years, Keen would continue to write, record, perform and tour. In 1994 he performed in the musical Chippy. Keen's 1997 album Picnic features a picture of Keen's own car in flames at Willie Nelson's 1974 Fourth of July picnic/concert. He tells the story on the No. 2 Live Dinner album in the introduction to the song "The Road Goes on Forever."He also has a daughter named clara keen

Revered by proudly self-described white trash is his song "Merry Christmas from the Family" which stunningly captures the sweet and creepy of many a holiday gathering. His video version has been viewed by over 600,000 people, see it at .

His song “On and On” was chosen as the Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week on January 12, 2010.[3]


  • Rich Brotherton - guitar
  • Bill Whitbeck - bass
  • Tom Van Schaik - drums
  • Marty Muse - steel guitar


Year Album Chart Positions
US Country US US Heat US Rock
1984 No Kinda Dancer
1988 The Live Album
1989 West Textures
1993 A Bigger Piece of Sky
1994 Gringo Honeymoon
1996 No. 2 Live Dinner
1997 Picnic 160 4
1998 Walking Distance 149 3
2001 Gravitational Forces 10 111 1
2003 Farm Fresh Onions 24 172 9
The Party Never Ends 68
2004 Live from Austin TX
2005 What I Really Mean 21 122 1
2006 Live at the Ryman
2008 Marfa After Dark
2009 The Rose Hotel 17 83 35


External links

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