The Robert Earl Keen Band Eases Into Retirement From The Road With Brand New, Laid Back LP, Western Chill

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

When Robert Earl Keen announced in January 2022 that he would be retiring from touring September 2022, he also made it clear that he had no intention of hanging up his guitar, putting down his pen, or never recording again. “Quitting the road doesn’t mean I’m dead, and it doesn’t mean I’m going to quit producing stuff,” he has stated time and again. Just to prove the point Keen has just announced what might be his most ambitious project to date: a brand new full-length album, an accompanying performance video of the entire album, a detailed songbook for folks at home to sing and play along, and an accompanying 92-page, full-color graphic novel. Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to The Robert Earl Keen Band’s Western Chill.

It’s a treasure trove of material from Keen and his band; but he wants to be very clear about what Western Chill is not: a swan song.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let alone ahead of Keen. At this point in his life and career, the focus is to savor every moment, catch his breath, and fully take in the long-awaited splendor and freedom to write and create to his heart’s content without having to fall lockstep into a grinding tour schedule. After playing for untold thousands of fans for the better part of four decades, the man has earned his license to chill—and Western Chill is our invitation to join him.

Beginning today—and up until its April 14th release—the Western Chill boxed set is available for pre-order from Keen’s own label, Scriptorium Rex. Included in the boxed set is a gatefold vinyl of Western Chill, a DVD of The Robert Earl Keen Band’s full album performance, the Western Chill songbook, and the album’s accompanying graphic novel. It should also be clearly noted that Western Chill is a collector’s edition available in physical form. For the foreseeable future there will be no download or streaming links, so fans are encouraged to dive into the entirety of Western Chill the way it was intended: kick back, crack a cold one, sing along, and enjoy the vibe.

This week, for a preview into the visual world of Western Chill, Garden & Gun magazine shared the band’s performance of the album’s title track, “Western Chill.” Fans can watch Keen and the band rock through their ultimate mood-setter in 6/8 time at this link.

Fans can pre-order Western Chill today directly from

Robert Earl Keen - Western Chill (Album Video)