Robert Earl Keen Isn’t Un-Retiring, But He Is Re-Appearing


If you thought you’d seen the last of Robert Earl Keen singing and playing on a stage, well, you were still mostly right. But some new opportunities to seen Keen live have come online recently that you should be aware of.

On September 4th, 2022 (or 5th, since it ended after midnight), Robert Earl officially took his final bow at the legendary Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, TX. And Keen was emphatic that he was not feigning his retirement for a money grab, explaining in a detailed speech that when he said final, he meant “final.”

You probably still shouldn’t expect Keen to announce a new full band tour anytime soon. Then again, you never know. These performers sure do have trouble staying gone. But those who need their Keen fix will have a few opportunities coming up.

The first opportunity is a FREE “Annual Fan Appreciation Day” to happen once again at Floore’s Country Store in Helotes on September 4th—a year to the day from Robert Earl’s retirement. If it’s anything like the 1st Fan Appreciation Day that accompanied Keen’s final(ish) performance, you can expect a lot of special guests from the world of Texas music and beyond, and lots of collaborations between them.

And yes, Keen confirms, “My band and I will close the party out.”

Keen continues, “I love my fans and I want to be proactive in showing my appreciation for them which is why I came up with Fan Appreciation Day. I want to return the love. This is one big free party with 2,000 or so of the fans who have been with me for decades. Newcomers are welcome, too.”

Since it’s a free show, attendees will be selected via a lottery drawing. You can throw your hat in the ring at liveatfloores.com.

But if you don’t live in Texas, and happen to be around the Alexandria, Virginia area, you’re also in luck. Two acoustic shows on September 20th and 21st have been announced at The Birchmere. Will more acoustic shows pop up on the calendar? We’ll just have to see.

According to The Birchmere, Robert Earl Keen is still officially retired from touring, but will do occasional acoustic spot dates. When Keen’s publicist was pressed on the matter, she said, “He’s not ‘un-retiring’ from the road but he is playing select shows when he feels like it. Doing exactly what you want, when you want sounds like retirement to me, haha.”

Either way, Robert Earl Keen fans out there should be aware: a few live performances have come up on the calendar, and more could be coming, so stay tuned.

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