Robert Earl Keen Announces Digital Release Of His 2023 Laid-Back Opus 'Western Chill'

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Friday, May 10, 2024

A little over a year ago, Texas music legend Robert Earl Keen showed his legion of fans that, while he was retiring from full-time life on the road, he had zero intentions of putting down his guitar. In April 2023, Keen and his band released a brand new LP and game-changing box set entitled Western Chill. Including a 92-page graphic novel inspired by the album, a play-along/sing-along songbook for all fourteen songs, and a DVD of the Robert Earl Keen Band performing the entire new album at Keen’s Snake Barn studio space, Western Chill was only available for those who took the deep dive and ordered a set of their own. That is, until now. On June 7th, Keen will release the Western Chill LP for streaming or purchasing digitally for fans far and wide to wade into over the summer months; a musical oasis to keep cool and relaxed as the mercury rises.

“This is for my fans who have all but begged for me to release Western Chill digitally,” says the man who’s spent an entire career loving his fanbase. “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!”

Those keen-eyed fans will have already seen a short, sweet list of REK tour dates announced in recent weeks, but for those who may have missed them, Keen and the band will be hitting 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.

But first, the Robert Earl Keen Band will take the stage tonight and tomorrow—May 10th and 11th—supporting Willie Nelson at New Braunfels, Texas’s White Water Amphitheater. “We’ll be debuting selected cuts from Western Chill and celebrating our first digital release of the project,” says Keen. “Oh yeah…we’ll also be playing plenty of your favorites from the REK catalog as well.” A full list of upcoming dates can be found below or at

To get fans prepared for the first REK shows in some time, Keen just released “Let’s Valet” from Western Chill, a swinging number written by Keen, Dean Dillon, and a mystery talent handler named Taylor who wrangled Keen around a “CMA thing” once in Nashville. “She could take me through the crowds, get me up to the reporters, get on the red carpet, the whole business of it,” remembers Keen. “We went all over Nashville. And at one point we got in this big traffic jam and I went, ‘Well, what are we going to do now, Taylor?’ And she goes, ‘Let’s valet!’ I said, ‘You know what, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me, ‘Here’s a great song title, here’s a great song,’ all that stuff. But Taylor, bingo—That is a song title.”

Fans can stream or purchase “Let’s Valet” today at this link and pre-order or pre-save Western Chill ahead of its digital release on June 7th right here. Beginning on June 7, individual pieces of the Western Chill box set will be available “a la carte” at REK’s web store.

Upcoming shows:

May 10 - New Braunfels, TX - White Water Amphitheater w/ Willie Nelson

May 11 - New Braunfels, TX - White Water Amphitheater w/ Willie Nelson

May 26 - Round Rock, TX - Round Rock Amphitheatre Lone Star Jam

June 1 - Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theatre

June 2 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium

June 3 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre

June 5 - Charleston, SC - Charleston Music Hall

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

Aug. 7 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere

Aug. 8 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere

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