Country Music Legend Retiring From the Road

Country legend Robert Earl Keen is ready to take a chill pill. The singer announced recently that he's ready to take a break from the road. The Houston native has been performing professionally since 1984, but his road to stardom began in college years before that. In a video post on his social media accounts titled "Time Flies" persona said the decision had nothing to do with his health, which has not been in the best shape in recent years.

"This chorus of joy, this parade of passion, this bull rush of creativity, this colony of kindness and generosity are foremost in my thoughts today. It's with a mysterious concoction of joy and sadness that I want to tell you that as of Sept. 4, 2022, I will no longer tour or perform publicly," he wrote, as reported by Houston Chronicle

Keen added, "Much as I love what I do, it's more important that I do it well or not at all. I'm not sick or experiencing any existential crisis. I feel that making a decision and quitting the road while I still love it is the way I want to leave it. I've witnessed firsthand the alternative. And I promised myself I'd go out feeling all the love for music and performing the same way when I entered: with passion and enthusiasm."

Despite this, he promises to continue his work behind the scenes. Keen will continue to write as well as interviews for his podcast Americana. His schedule is packed until Sept. 4, per his note.

Keen began playing the violin as a child. He eventually attended school at Texas A&M. His bandmates included Bryan Duckworth. He also became friends with Lyle Lovett, who eventually became a professional songwriter in the industry. 

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His big hit came in 1983. He released No Kinda Dancer, his debut album, for a boutique label in his home state. Keen's grassroots efforts played off. He's released a dozen studio recordings, as well as live albums. Keen also created his own label to give other artists and musicians a chance.