Accomplished Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen has announced he will no longer perform live. The 66-year-old shared a personal message to fans on Friday (Jan. 15) via his website that explained his decision to step away from life on the road.
“It’s with a mysterious concoction of joy and sadness that I want to tell you as of September 4th, 2022, I will no longer tour and perform publicly,” Keen wrote. “I plan to continue to write songs, interview a wide variety of celebrities and contributors for our Americana Podcast. I also embrace this as an opportunity to further support the musical community and the ever expanding body of young talent on our horizon.”
Keen says his decision to step away from the live concert circuit was born out of deep thought and introspection about his future as a performer and what it may look like in the years to come.
“I’m a strong believer in clarity and truth,” he continued. “As much as I love what I do, it’s more important that I do it well or not at all. I’m not sick or experiencing any existential crisis. I feel that making a decision and quitting the road while I still love it, is the way I want to leave it. I’ve witnessed first hand the alternative and promised myself I would go out feeling all the love for music and performing the same way I entered- with passion and enthusiasm.”
Keen, who honed his skills as a singer-songwriter alongside fellow Texas-born legends Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett and Guy Clark, has released twelve solo studio albums since the mid-1980s. He’s also penned songs recorded by some of country music’s biggest artists, including George Strait, The Highwaymen, Gillian Welch, Nanci Griffith, Eddy Raven and many others.
If you want to catch Robert Earl Keen out on the road one last time, you still have time. Although he currently only has shows scheduled out through the end of March, Keen plans to continue playing until his final fan-appreciation party which is set for this Labor Day (Sept. 5). A complete list of tour dates can be seen below, with additional ticketing information available at Keen’s official website.
Robert Earl Keen’s 2022 Tour Dates:
Jan. 21 — Newberry, S.C. @ Newberry Opera House
Jan. 22 — Greenville, N.C. @ State Theatre
Jan. 23 — Rocky Mount, Va. @ Harvester Performance Center
Jan. 26 — Bristol, Va. @ Cameo Theater
Jan. 27 — Frankfort, Ky. @ Grand Theatre
Jan. 28 — Huntingdon, Tenn. @ The Dixie Carter Performing Art Center
Jan. 29 — Bloomington, Ill. @ The Castle Theatre
Feb. 18 — Nashville, Tenn. @ Ryman Auditorium
Feb. 19 — Germantown, Tenn. @ Germantown PAC
March 8 — Salt Lake City, Utah @ The State Room
March 9 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The State Room
March 10 — Grand Junction, Colo. @ Avalon Theatre
March 11 — Denver, Colo. @ Grizzly Rose
March 12 — Fort Collins, Colo. @ Washington’s
March 13 — Beaver Creek, Colo. @ Vilar Performing Arts Center