Keen, Robert Earl
- Kathleen Hudson
(b Houston, TX, Jan 11, 1956). American singer-songwriter. The son of an oil executive father and an attorney mother, he graduated from Texas A&M in 1978 after developing a friendship with Lyle Lovett, a friendship that led to a signature song for both men, “This Old Porch.” No Kinda Dancer (Philo, 1984) was Keen’s first album, self-financed in Austin. After a short stint in Nashville he returned to Texas, and West Textures (Sugar Hill, 1989) contained one of Keen’s signature songs, “The Road Goes on Forever.” Gringo Honeymoon (Sugar Hill, 1994) blended his stories with the guitar licks of Gurf Morlix, who also produced albums for Lucinda Williams. Keen moved in the direction of alternative country with Picnic (Arista, 1997). Gravitional Forces (Lost Highway, 2001) became a stepping-stone for more touring and recording. He has been a leading figure among Texas songwriters, touring up to 200 days each year and writing songs based on vivid settings, small-time losers, the common person, memory, and good stories. From his first recording to the Lloyd Maines-produced album ...