EXCLUSIVE: Is Robert Earl Keen Comfortable Being Labeled a ‘Legend’ + More
Robert Earl Keen's contribution to music has been immeasurable over his 30-year career. His own music has earned the Houston-native and Texas Aggie legendary status all by itself -- but his influence on the current generation of musicians makes Keen an icon. With a long-overdue visit to Abilene later this week (7/5), Robert took time to visit with the KEAN Afternoon Show to talk about the show, his music, writing, and pretty much anything else.
It's been awhile since REK has visited the Abilene area, "It seems like a coon's age, as they say," says Keen. "I have some really good friends (in Abilene) and some of them are coming out to see me...I do like the idea of catching up with old friends and family."
His current album, "Ready For Confetti" has done great for him, and he's definitely glad with it's success. "It did really well, particularly the song "I Gotta Go," Keen reveals. "[It] was picked up by numerous people and it's one of those songs that I can play from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon and as soon as you start it, everybody knows it and starts singing along...That song, in my world, would be considered a smash hit."
How comfortable is Keen when people call him a "legend?" "I think in terms of legends as pretty iconic," says Keen. "Almost untouchable people. I'd like to think of myself a little bit more of a man of the people, but I certainly appreciate it."
The final portion of my interview with REK we spoke about his work ethic and the affect he has had on the next generation of singer/songwriters. And showing them that hard work can pay off. Keen told me:
"I believe that music is a true vocation and that you need to work at it. There's a big, big, big big 'luck factor' in success in music, but there's also a real solid groundswell of an ability to make a real good living at music and really enjoy it at the same time.".
Keen also managed to humor the clown interviewing him, by proudly admitted that the road does indeed go on forever, and the party truly does never end.
After 30 years in the business, Robert Earl Keen has my attention as much as ever, and I can't wait to hear whatever new songs he comes up with in the 'Scriptorium' next! Come to find out, he's also a terrific guy to have a conversation with, and someone you need to see in concert at least once in your lifetime.