Robert Earl Keen is currently on the last leg of his “I’m Comin’ Home” Farewell Tour after 41 years of performing on the road, but he’s not done racking up stories to tell when he finally enjoys his retirement. On Tuesday, August 2nd, Keen and his band were in New Orleans performing at the House of Blues. After the show and on their way back to Texas, the tour bus started moving very slow. The driver pulled over to check the engine, and when he opened the engine door, the bus ignited into flames.
The fire broke out about 3 AM, and emergency personnel responded. The good news is, Robert Earl Keen and the rest of his band and entourage were all able to exit safely, and they were able to get any essential instruments and gear out of the bus before the fire spread. The bus was being leased by Robert Earl Keen. Keen’s publicist Tamara Saviano says he and his band are now headed back to Texas, with a merch van loaded down with their stuff along with another vehicle. A small and grainy video of the fire making the rounds can be seen below.
“We are just grateful that everyone is safe,” says Tamara Saviano. “It could’ve been a lot worse. It’s just another story to tell from the final Robert Earl Keen tour!”
Robert Earl Keen is still expected to play Thursday (8-4) at the Concrete Street Amphitheater in Corpus Christi, TX, at the Tobin Center in San Antonio on Friday (8-5), and then KOKEFest in Hutto, TX just outside of Austin with the Turnpike Troubadours Saturday, August 6th. His final shows will be at Floore’s Country Store on September 3rd and 4th, with Eric Church recently committing to opening the September 3rd show for him.
Keen announced his retirement in January, saying in part, “It is with a mysterious concoction of joy and sadness that I want to tell you as of September 4th, 2022, I will no longer tour or perform publicly. 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 music community, and the ever-expanding body of young talent on our horizon.”
“I’m not sick, or experiencing some existential crisis,” he assures, “I feel that making a decision, and quitting the road while I still love it is the way I want to leave it.”