Robert Earl Keen And Band Release Western Chill Into The Digital World Today

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Saturday, June 8, 2024

For the last year and some change, the only way for fans to hear Robert Earl Keen’s laid-back opus, Western Chill, was to buy a vinyl copy and spin it the old-school way. But since its release in April of last year, fans have made it very apparent that they need Western Chill in a “portable” format. “This is for my fans who have all but begged for me to release Western Chill digitally,” says Keen. “The fans spoke and we listened: you want Western Chill on-the-go so we’re releasing this labor of love, and given that it’s digital, I trust you’ll share it!” And today, their wish has been granted: Western Chill is officially available to stream or download online at

The Western Chill vibe is soulfully laid-back—especially compared to the crowd-amped rush of 2016’s Live Dinner Reunion or the spry, virtuosic kick of Keen’s 2015 Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions. This new album is packed with enough surprises to keep even the most seasoned fan guessing what’s coming next. The opening title track—an instant Keen classic in the easy-loping vein of “The Front Porch Song,” “Gringo Honeymoon,” and “Feelin’ Good Again”—sets the mood for the whole album, followed by back-to-back original stunners sung and written by fiddle/guitar player Brian Beken (“Waves”) and bassist Bill Whitbeck (“Bluelight”). If variety is the spice of life, Western Chill is the Silk Road to chill with more contributions heard from Beken and Whitbeck as well as compositions by the rest of the band. This has all been documented here because true to the “featuring” tag on the album cover, this really is a REK Band affair.

Speaking of the Robert Earl Keen Band, those keen-eyed fans will have already seen a short, sweet list of REK full band shows announced in recent weeks, but for those who may have missed them, Keen and the band are on the road in very short spurts this summer to perform 1998’s Picnic and 2003’s Farm Fresh Onions front to back in their entirety. “To keep it lively, we’ll alternate each record…Picnic one night and Farm Fresh Onions the next,” says Keen. A full list of upcoming dates can be found below or at

Catch Robert Earl Keen On Tour:

June 7 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre

June 8 - Winston-Salem, NC - The RamKat

June 9 - Rocky Mount, VA - Harvester Performance Center

June 14 - Grand Prairie, TX - Texas Trust CU Theatre

Aug. 6 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere (sold out)

Aug. 7 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere (sold out)

Aug. 8 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere (sold out)

Aug. 9 - Richmond, VA - The National

Western Chill Tracklist:

Western Chill

Blue Light (feat. Bill Whitbeck)

Waves (feat. Brian Beken)

Hello Stranger (feat. Kym Warner)

The City (feat. Brian Beken)

Let’s Valet



Bone and Flowers (feat. Bill Whitbeck)

Sweet Summer Rain

Mister Mockingbird (feat. Bill Whitbeck)

Mr. Blues on the Run

Walking On

Rippling Waters