The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum welcomes Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen on Friday, May 1st. Doors open at 5 pm, and concert begins at 7 pm.
"The road goes on forever..." It's not always easy to sum up a career -- let alone a life's ambition -- so succinctly, but those five words from Robert Earl Keen's calling-card anthem just about do it.
You can complete the lyric with the next five words -- the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by thousands of fans a night ("and the party never ends!") -- just to punctuate the point with a flourish, but it's the part about the journey that gets right to the heart of what makes Keen tick. Some people take up a life of playing music with the goal of someday reaching a destination of fame and fortune; but from the get-go, Keen just wanted to write and sing his own songs, and to keep writing and singing them for as long as possible.
"I always thought that I wanted to play music, and I always knew that you had to get some recognition in order to continue to play music," Keen says. "But I never thought of it in terms of getting to be a big star. I thought of it in terms of having a really, really good career and writing some good songs, and getting onstage and having a really good time."
Now three-decades on from the release of his debut album -- with nineteen records to his name, thousands of shows under his belt and still no end in sight to the road ahead -- Keen remains as committed to and inspired by his muse as ever. And as for accruing recognition, well, he's done alright on that front, too; from his humble beginnings on the Texas folk scene, he's blazed a peer, critic, and fan-lauded trail that's earned him living-legend (not to mention pioneer) status in the Americana music world.