Robert Earl Keen Is Retired From Touring but Has a New Album on the Way


Texas songwriting legend will release Western Chill as a box set with graphic novel, DVD, and songbook

Robert Earl Keen officially retired from touring in late 2022, but he’s still busy creating new things. The Texas singer-songwriter will release his new album Western Chill via his own Scriptorium Rex label on April 14, with a whole batch of extra goodies to accompany it.

The album’s title track is fittingly laid back, a 6/8-time stroll that mixes a little jazzy melodicism in with its country swing. “It’s easy to be somebody, but it’s hard to disappear/Let’s face it everybody, sometimes you just want to be by yourself,” Keen sings, switching between spoken and sung lines as he drops witty couplets by the dozen.


Western Chill the album is just one piece of the puzzle for Keen’s latest project. The album is available as a boxed set that will include a vinyl copy, a DVD of Keen and his band performing the entire recording, a Western Chill songbook, and a 92-page full-color graphic novel. A release notes that there will not be an option to download or stream the album for now.

Keen ended his time on the road in style, playing to a packed house at Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Texas, last September. His final show ran 29 songs and more than 2 hours in length before he departed the stage. Western Chill will mark his first album since 2016’s Live Dinner Reunion (which was recorded at Floore’s) and first studio recording since 2015’s Happy Prisoner (The Bluegrass Sessions).

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