Archive for the ‘robert earl keen’ Category

Robert Earl Keen – The Rose Hotel

October 6, 2009
robert earl keen rose hotel

Written By: Jeff Markunas
(Americana/Country Editor)
Label: Lost Highway – Rating:

This album fits your ears the way an old leather jacket fits your back – comfortable in all the right places. Robert Earl doesn’t so much roll up to the Rose Hotel as glide. Texas boys with no muss, no fuss? Don’t sound right do it? Well REK knows how to make this work.

If you’re gonna spend a large part of your life standing in front of a mic wearing an old hat and boots, with a guitar slung over your shoulder, you better be real good or go home. Robert Earl Keen has no problem holding his own under these circumstances. You may not have been following his career – there’s a lot of pickers who tend to suck the oxygen right out of the air in Texas. You gotta be good to stay and you have to be great to make it.

The Rose Hotel is a gem of an album, although it may not have the brightest sparkle of REK’s career, as I think some of his earlier work rocks harder and glows brighter. The Rose Hotel does however have an incredible jewel, “Wireless In Heaven,” which skewers modern life very musically and very thoroughly. I recommend that everyone buy a copy of this album, drive over to the local Starbucks, and play this song at full volume on your netbook while standing in line during the morning rush.

Robert Earl is in a very mellow mood here – if he got much more laid back, the Doctors would applying the paddles and yell, “CLEAR!” My recommendation – Get your ‘chill’ on with “Flying Shoes” or “Goodbye Cleveland,” then wake it up with”10,000 Chinese Walk Into A Bar,” and put the cherry on top with “Wireless In Heaven” (What’s the musical equivalent of a Burp? Ahhh…)

Rock Bottom Line:
Mellow little gem of a Texas/country album. Relax and Enjoy.

CWG Rating – 3.5 Guns

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New Robert Earl Keen Album Due Out September 29

September 3, 2009

On September 29, Lost Highway will release “The Rose Hotel,” the new album from highly-acclaimed singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen. The Rose Hotel is Keen’s first studio album in four years and the 15th release for one of the Americana movement’s true pioneers. Keen comes from a long tradition of Texas songwriters, of which he has become one of the Lone Star State’s most respected and adored.

Keen is a master storyteller and wordsmith who can maneuver effortlessly from a poignant, heart-felt love song to a roof-raising barroom anthem, and in true Robert Earl Keen fashion, all things in between. His repertoire is overflowing with Southern-styled vignettes inspired by everyday life and The Rose Hotel is a prime example.

The Rose Hotel is a collection of 11 songs, including cove rs of Townes Van Zandt’s “Flying Shoes” and Greg Brown’s “Laughing River” (a duet with Brown). Keen’s unique sense of irony, satire and wit is felt throughout The Rose Hotel particularly on the tracks “10,000 Chinese Walk Into A Bar” (featuring vocals by Billy Bob Thornton) and the cynical “Wireless In Heaven”. At the core of Keen’s music have always been the stories, a unifying theme throughout his 20+ years of recording. The Rose Hotel continues that tradition right from the beginning with the opening title track and “The Man Behind The Drums”, an homage to another Americana legend, former Band drummer Levon Helm.

Manning the boards for The Rose Hotel is Lloyd Maines, the acclaimed producer, pedal steel/steel guitar/dobro player who has worked with everyone from The Dixie Chicks to The Flatlanders.