Release date:
September 9, 2022
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Robert Earl Keen's Western Chill is a whole lot more than just the latest album from the trailblazing Americana artist regarded by generations of fans and peers alike as one of the most iconic and influential Texas songwriters of the last half century. Western Chill is so many things. In fact, perhaps it's best to first be very clear about what it's not: A swan song. When Keen announced in January 2022 that he would be retiring from touring later that year, he also made it clear that he had no intentions 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's reiterated time and again. Always stated with a very on-brand mix of bemused patience and mild exasperation. So, just because Western Chill releases in August, a couple of weeks before the last two shows on his final tour, does not mean that it's his "retirement record." Hell, it may not even be Keen's last record this year, given his reports that he's already got the next one all but finished. Now, cut the guy some slack if he ends up deciding to let that next album marinate a bit longer, maybe even all the way into 2023 - but rest assured, it's coming. And odds are that that won't be his last album, either.

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