The road, it seems, isn’t going to last for long, and the fun, at least the live one, is coming to an end for the legendary Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen. In January 2022, Keen announced in January 2022 to quit at the top of his game, and the well-known artist is taking advantage of his final tour year by putting on a fun, lively series of performances throughout the state that he hails from, Texas.
“I’ve been blessed to have a life full of amazing, talented vibrant, electric, amazing people throughout my life,” Keen shared in a post via his various social media platforms. “This joyful chorus and passion, this show of joy and this raging rush of imagination, this community of generosity and kindness are the top of my list this day. It’s with a strange mix of sadness and joy I’m able to announce to you that starting September 4September 4 2022, I will not be performing or touring on stage.”
The final part of his tour begins with Corpus Christi on August 4, August 4. It continues through September 4, with stops at various Texas institutions with two shows on ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin (August 28-29) and Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.
With a catalogue of 21 albums, a band of highly talented musicians, and a plethora of thousands of performances under his belt, Keen has earned living-legend status in the Americana music scene. Keen is a Houston native. He grew up listening to the classics of rock and Willie Nelson records, teaching himself to play the guitar when he enrolled at Texas A&M University. Keen composed “The front porch song” and his fellow Texas legend and acquaintance Lyle Lovett, which both artists recorded on their debut albums.
Keen took the path of several of the LoneStar State’s most renowned singer-songwriters, who produced and financed his debut album No Kinda Dancer before moving to Nashville. When he relocated back to Texas the following year, he was signed to a publishing contract and a new label and a booking agent in the country. The album came out with the Live Album and West Textures. The seminal album introduced his long-running popular fan song, “The Road Goes on forever.”
In the meantime, two additional album releases, A Bigger Piece of Sky and Gringo Honeymoon, made instant classics, including “Corpus Christi Bay,” Gringo Honeymoon,” Dreadful Selfish Crime,” along with “Merry Merry Christmas to the family.” Keen’s fame as an author has earned him the honour of being a member of the Texas Heritage Songwriter Hall of Fame, The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and The Texas Institute of Letters.
While Keen will write music as well as run his popular radio show to encourage young artists and follow his artistic inspiration wherever it leads Keen, his sold-out last public concert will be held on September 4 at the John T. Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Texas, followed by a fan-favourite party in the exact location September 5.
Below is the complete list of dates and venues for his World Tour of Texas. Local presale tickets will go on sale on Thursday, May 26, from 10 am-10 pm. All tickets will be on sale Friday, May 27, at 10 am.
- August 4 — Concrete Street Amphitheater, Corpus Christi
- August 5 — Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Antonio
- August 6 — KOKE Fest, Hutto
- August 12 — Starlight Ranch, Amarillo
- August 17-18 — Gruene Hall, New Braunfels
- August 19 — The Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston
- August 20 — Texas Uprising, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston
- August 21 — Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont
- August 24 — The Factory Deep Ellum, Dallas
- August 25 — Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth
- August 26 — Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, Midland
- August 28-29 — ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Austin
- September 1 — Floore’s Country Store, Helotes (sold out)
- September 2 — TBA, College Station
- September 3-4 — Floore’s Country Store, Helotes (sold out)
In January, Robert Earl Keen announced that the year he was touring was his final. It seemed like something out of the realm of possibility: Keen has been a tour giant for over 40 years. And while his witty stories have attracted worldwide audiences, Keen almost single-handedly built an example for writers to earn a living through performances in Texas.
In a video which he posted, has said:
“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.”
Keen placed places on alert, informing them that the tour was the final tour. While dates appeared like daisies on his calendar, there were none in his home town of Houston. Today, Robert Earl Keen’s World Tour of Texas: Texas Uprising announced a show in the market. Keen will be performing at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands from August 20 to August 20.