Robert Earl Keen announces plans to halt touring, public performances in September 2022

Keen said he will no longer tour or perform publicly come Sept. 4

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 25: Singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen performs at City Winery Nashville on January 25, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) (Jason Kempin, 2021 Getty Images)

Texas country music legend Robert Earl Keen announced Friday that he will officially take a step back from touring and public performances later this year.

He wrote a note to his fans on his website, saying as of Sept. 4, he will no longer tour or perform publicly.

Keen, 66 and a Houston native, said his decision isn’t due to him falling ill, nor an “existential crisis.” Rather, he said he believes it’s time for him to go out of the business the same way he entered it -- with “passion and enthusiasm.”

“It’s with a mysterious concoction of joy and sadness that I want to tell you as of September 4th, 2022, I will no longer tour and perform publicly. I plan to continue to write songs, interview a wide variety of celebrities and contributors for our Americana Podcast. I also embrace this as an opportunity to further support the musical community and the ever expanding body of young talent on our horizon,” Keen said in a statement. “I’m a strong believer in clarity and truth. As much as I love what I do, it’s more important that I do it well or not at all. I’m not sick or experiencing any existential crisis. I feel that making a decision and quitting the road while I still love it, is the way I want to leave it.”

Keen said he is grateful for the support he’s received, and for those who have touched his life over the years.

“My family, friends, band members, fans, co-workers, teachers, advisors, confidants, and peers only begin to tell the story. I feel connected to everyone of them,” Keen said.

His band’s last two or three shows will be held at the Flores Country Store in Helotes. The band also plans on throwing a fan appreciation party on Labor Day, Sept. 5.

For more details on his upcoming performances, or to read his full letter to fans, visit his website here.

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Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.