Robert Earl Keen, Jr. (born January 11, 1956 in Houston, Texas) is an American singer-songwriter. Growing up, Keen was interested in music, sports, movies and writing. He attended Texas A&M University, enrolling in the school of journalism. Disappointed in the College Station, Texas music scene, he began playing guitar and learned to read and write music, basing his style on folk, country, blues and roots rock. In 1977 he rented a house from landlord Jack Boyett, where his neighbor was a then-unknown Lyle Lovett. The two became friends and performed together on the front porch. This eventually grew into inspiration for a song entitled "The Front Porch Song", which both would add to their repertoire. In 1980, Keen graduated from Texas A&M, moved to Austin, Texas and began writing for a newspaper. Soon he was performing in Austin's nightclubs and live music venues, building a solid following. In 1984 he financed the recording of his own EP and distributed it regionally. In 1986, He moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Discouraged by the polish of the new country sound and unable to land a recording contract, Keen moved back to Austin. In 1989 he released his national debut album, West Textures. His 1993 release, A Bigger Piece Of Sky, gained wider acclaim, both amongst fans and critics. Over the next ten years, Keen would continue to write, record, perform and tour. Today, he is popular with traditional country music fans, folk music fans, the college radio crowd and alt-country fans. Keen currently resides in Bandera, Texas.
Robert Earl Keen (born January 11, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter and entertainer living in the central Texas hill country. Debuting with 1984's No Kinda Dancer, the Houston native has recorded 18 full-length albums for both independent and major record labels, while his songs have also been covered by several different artists from the country, folk and Texas country music scenes (including George Strait, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, The Highwaymen, Nanci Griffith, and the Dixie Chicks.) Although both his albums and live performances span many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock, he is most commonly affiliated with the Americana movements. In fact, he was the first "Americana" artist to appear on the cover of Gavin magazine when the style was officially recognized as its own genre in 1998. Additionally, although Keen has toured extensively both nationally and internationally throughout his career, he has long been heralded as one of the Lone Star State's most popular and consistently acclaimed musical ambassadors, leading to his induction into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 along with Lovett and the late Townes Van Zandt.