While Keen has retired from touring, he and his band are set to release a new album Western Chill on April 14th; Box set includes accompanying songbook, performance video, and graphic novel.
March 23, 2023 – Austin, TX – The latest Texas House Resolution, HR102, begins as such:
“WHEREAS, Renowned Texas musician Robert Earl Keen brought 41 years of touring to a triumphant close in 2022, bidding a fond and bittersweet farewell to cheering fans all across the country; and WHEREAS, A Houston native, Mr. Keen first picked up a guitar during his freshman year at Texas A&M University; he began playing around town, and after graduation, he took a day job in Austin, honed his chops, and won the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Songwriting Competition…”
Needless to say, the parade of “WHEREAS” goes on forever and the party never ends. Eventually, HR102 states: “RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 88th Texas Legislature hereby congratulate Robert Earl Keen on his retirement from touring and honor him for his outstanding contributions to Texas music.”
So that settles it, as of Tuesday, March 21, 2023, Robert Earl Keen has officially been recognized by the state of Texas for everything he’s done for the Texas music scene and beyond; a feat accomplished by no other Texas musician. His wife Kathleen, daughter Clara, Porter Garner, CEO and President of The Former Students Association of Texas A & M University, and Dr. Tyler Cooper, President and CEO of the Cooper Aerobics and Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, were all escorted to the floor of the Texas House of Representatives and Resolution 102 was read in Keen’s honor by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-District 53).
This honor comes just after Keen’s announcement of brand new music on the horizon. On April 14th, The Robert Earl Keen band will release Western Chill, a brand new full-length album, an accompanying performance video of the entire album, a detailed songbook for folks at home to sing and play along, and an accompanying 92-page, full-color graphic novel. Keen has repeatedly reminded fans and critics that even though he’s retired from touring, he has no intention of quitting music. “Quitting the road doesn’t mean I’m dead, and it doesn’t mean I’m going to quit producing stuff,” he says.
Western Chill is the first bonafide proof fans have seen of this promise, and the whopping package Keen has assembled should leave nothing to be desired short of an album tour—but rest assured that is not happening. For a preview into the visual world of Western Chill, Garden & Gun magazine shared the band’s performance of the album’s title track, “Western Chill.” Fans can watch Keen and the band rock through their ultimate mood-setter in 6/8 time at this link and pre-order Western Chill today directly from westernchill.com.