The road, it seems, does not go on forever, and the party — at least the live one — is wrapping up for legendary Texas songwriter Robert Earl Keen. In January 2022, the he announced his decision in January 2022 to retire at the top of his game, and the acclaimed musician is making the most of his final touring year with a romping, rowdy set of shows across his home state of Texas.
“I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of brilliant, talented, colorful, electrical, magical folks throughout my life,” Keen shared in a video on his social media channels. “This chorus of joy, this parade of passion, this bull rush of creativity, this colony of kindness and generosity are foremost in my thoughts today. It’s with a mysterious concoction of joy and sadness that I want to tell you that as of September 4, 2022, I will no longer tour or perform publicly.”
The final leg of his final tour will kick off in Corpus Christi on August 4 and run through September 4, making stops at several Texas institutions, including visits here at Galveston’s Grand 1894 Opera House and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. He’ll also play ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin and Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.
With a catalog of 21 albums, his band of stellar musicians, and many thousands of shows under his belt, Keen has earned living-legend status in the Americana music world. A Houston native, he grew up on classic rock and Willie Nelson records, teaching himself the guitar by the time he entered Texas A&M University. Keen co-wrote “The Front Porch Song” with fellow Texas legend and friend Lyle Lovett, which both artists recorded on their debut albums.
Keen followed in the footsteps of some of the Lone Star State’s most revered singer-songwriters, producing and financing his first album No Kinda Dancer before moving to Nashville. By the time he moved back to Texas, he had a publishing deal, a new label, and a national booking agent. He released The Live Album and West Textures, the seminal album which debuted what remains his all-time fan favorite, "The Road Goes on Forever."
Since then, two more albums, A Bigger Piece of Sky and Gringo Honeymoon, produced instant classics like "Corpus Christi Bay," "Gringo Honeymoon," "Dreadful Selfish Crime," and "Merry Christmas from the Family.” Keen’s acclaim as a writer has earned him membership in the Texas Heritage Songwriter Hall of Fame, The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the Texas Institute of Letters.
While Keen will continue to write music, host his popular podcast, support young artists, and follow his artistic muse wherever it takes him, his already-sold-out final public concert will be September 4 at John T. Floores Country Store in Helotes, Texas, followed by a fan appreciation party at the same venue on September 5.
Below is the complete list of dates and venues for his World Tour of Texas. Local presale tickets will go on sale on Thursday, May 26, from 10 am-10 pm. All tickets will be on sale Friday, May 27, at 10 am.
- August 4 — Concrete Street Amphitheater, Corpus Christi
- August 5 — Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Antonio
- August 6 — KOKE Fest, Hutto
- August 12 — Starlight Ranch, Amarillo
- August 17-18 — Gruene Hall, New Braunfels
- August 19 — The Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston
- August 20 — Texas Uprising, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston
- August 21 — Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont
- August 24 — The Factory Deep Ellum, Dallas
- August 25 — Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth
- August 26 — Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, Midland
- August 28-29 — ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Austin
- September 1 — Floore’s Country Store, Helotes (sold out)
- September 2 — TBA, College Station
- September 3-4 — Floore’s Country Store, Helotes (sold out)