Robert Earl Keen Announces Retirement from Touring and Performing Publicly

Legendary singer-songwriter Robert Earl Kane shocked fans and music industry insiders by announcing his retirement from public performance on Friday, January 14.

Kane wrote a sincere message to his fans on his website, in which he shares the news.

“It is with a vague mixture of joy and sadness that I want to tell you that as of September 4, 2022, I will not be touring and performing in public. I plan to continue writing songs and interviewing a variety of celebrities and contributors to our Americana Podcast.” “I also embrace this as an opportunity to further support the music community and the expanding body of young talent on our horizon.”

Kane, 66, reassured fans that the reason for his decision was not due to ill health or any crisis he was facing.

I’m not sick or have any existential crisis. I feel that making the decision and leaving the road while I still love it, is the way I want to let go,” he wrote.I feel that making the decision and leaving the road while I still love it, is the way I want to leave.”

Additionally, the Texas native shared that his last performance will take place on September 4, 2022, with Fan Appreciation Party on Labor Day, September 5th. “We will be running an extensive tour through September 4, 2022 and encourage you to get our attention, if you are interested in directing a tour your way,” he said.

Born in Houston in 1956, Kane graduated in 1978 from Texas A&M University, where he played folk and bluegrass with friends, including roommate Lyle Lovett. He then moved to Austin, Texas, and released his first album, no kinda dancer, in 1984. He later went on to record 18 albums throughout his career for both independent and leading record labels.

Kane’s songs have been recorded by fellow artists such as Joe Ely, The Highwaymen, George Strait, Lyle Lovett, and Nanci Griffith. In 2012, he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. his last album, Happy Prisoner: Bluegrass SessionsIt was released in 2015 with a live album, reunion dinner, to continue in 2016.

You can check Kane’s 2022 tour dates here.

Read Robert Earl Kane’s full letter below:

I’ve heard people say “time goes by so fast”. It’s a cliché. The funny thing about clichés and what makes them so ubiquitous, does it sound right. Jackson Brown has a line in a song that sums up life in the blink of an eye. The concept is hard for me to grasp, but I understand it as a feeling because I feel it more and more with each passing day. But it’s easier said than done, “time goes by so fast.” We all know what that means.

There is no way to inventory the impressive number of wonderful people who have influenced my life. My family, friends, band members, fans, co-workers, teachers, counselors, confidants, and peers only begin to tell the story. I feel connected with every single one of them. If I can shoot them in a “blink of an eye” like taking a picture, I’m connected. And I think it’s the people who go in and out of your life who make life worth living or, in unfortunate cases, a living hell.

Fortunately, I have been blessed with a lifetime of wonderful, talented, colorful, electric and charming people my whole life. This choir of joy, this procession of passion, this nonsense of creativity, this colony of kindness and generosity are at the forefront of my thoughts today. With a vague mixture of joy and sadness I want to tell you that as of September 4, 2022, I will not be walking around and performing in public. I plan to continue writing songs and interviewing a variety of celebrities and contributors to our Americana Podcast. I also embrace this as an opportunity to continue supporting the music community and the expanding body of young talent on our horizon.

I am a firm believer in clarity and truth. As much as I love what I do, it is important that I do it well or not at all. I’m not sick or have any existential crisis. I feel like making the decision and quitting while I still love it, is the way I want to let go. I myself saw the alternative and promised myself that I would go out feeling all the love of music and perform the same way I entered – with passion and enthusiasm.

We’ll be running an extensive tour through September 4, 2022 and encourage you to get our attention, if you’re interested in directing a tour your way. The last two or three shows will be at the Flores Country Store in Helots, Texas and we’ll be throwing a fan appreciation party on Labor Day, September 5th. Details of this event will follow shortly. All reservation inquiries will be handled by Lynn Cingari and Seth Malasky at Wasserman Music. All publicity inquiries go to Tamara Saviano. All other inquiries will be handled by Keen Productions. Details of this information will be available on my website.

Thank you for all the great performances over the years, and while it might not be obvious here, I promise the road goes on forever and the party never ends.

Robert Earl King

Photo by: Nick Doll

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