Robert Earl Keen’s songs like “Amarillo Highway” and “The Road Goes on Forever” have helped define Americana music before the term itself ever caught fire. Now the Texas songwriter is making it his mission to introduce the genre to a broader audience with a new podcast. Dubbed Americana Podcast: The 51st State, the show finds Keen interviewing artists who are essential to the format.
“Our mission is reflected in the title,” Keen said in a statement. “We want to define and expand the Americana music genre. Let’s unify the musical styles of folk, blues, bluegrass, country, string band, garage band rock into a powerful collectible under the same umbrella. Let’s make Americana, as Shakespeare said, ‘familiar in his mouth as household words.’”
Last month, Keen released a pair of new songs, “The Unknown Fighter” and “Silver Spurs and Gold Tequila,” via a live performance video. He recently wrapped up a spring tour and is gearing up for a string of summer dates with Tyler Childers, including Keen’s 4th on the River festival in Kerrville, Texas, on July 4th. Earlier this year he teamed with Randy Rogers to release the concept album Burn Band by the fictional Stryker Brothers.