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07/20/2015

TexAgs.com: Robert Earl Keen shares his latest endeavors, love for Texas A&M

Key quotes from Robert Earl Keen interview
"I didn't know that "The Road goes on Forever" would be endeared my so many Aggies. I try to approach every song the same and just try to make it make sense, you know? I want it to you know have a good story behind it. I did know something was going on when I played it for somebody. I played about two verses and the guy jumped out of his chair and goes 'That's the song!' I said, 'Okay, well good.' I have several favorite songs of mine ... I love a song that I wrote a long time ago it's called 'Rolling By' and it's just about West Texas. I love that song 'Copenhagen' too, I get a huge kick out of that. They all work for me at certain times."

"I just thought it was a giant honor to even be a part of First Yell. It was when everything was kinda swelling up and the changing of the guard as far as football happening, the new stadium fixing to get started. To be called in and asked to be part of it is was more than I could even imagine. I've always been a strong Aggie supporter eveywhere I go, but to be called back home and be part of the giant tribute to Aggieland was more than I could have ever dreamed of."

"I think this SEC thing was a brilliant move. At first I was kind of wondering how that would work, but because I travel all the time, I love the whole fact that you go to these different places where these other SEC schools are and they have this you know a little bit snarky, but at the same a little bit afraid attitude about the whole thing. I just tell them, 'Hey look, there's a new sheriff in town guys so get ready.' I get a huge kick out of all that. I really love Kevin Sumlin, I think he does a really great job and as far as how much I pay attention to it. I watch every game that I possibly can during the season so that's where I stand on Texas A&M football."

"Well that was a discussion with a brewing company (about his personal brand of beer). We had been talking for a while about how fun it would be to have a beer and it was just kind of a hope that it kind of works and see what we could do. We messed around with it a little bit and what we came up with was basically a recipe based on what I like as far as beer goes and it caught the ear and the eye and the tastebuds of all the people at HEB and so they put it at every HEB store in Texas. From there on it got picked up by Specs and convenient stores across the state, so it's really exciting and a huge suprise for me that I have a beer with my name on it and it's actually something that people like a lot. I guess it's not a suprise, they like some of my songs so why wouldn't they like my beer?"

"The tour is going great. We've had some great shows all up and down the east coast, the mid-Atlantic states. One of the things we're doing is we're incorporating a lot of this new bluegrass record that's called 'Happy Prisoner'. We're doing a lot of the songs that people know like 'The Porch Song' and 'The Road goes on Forever.' What we have is a new infusion of some really fun music to play for the band and as we go and along this tour we've gone up from playing for 800 people all the way up to 1,500 so I think the word is getting out there. We do pretty well outside the state, but this one has had a total tsunami effect going on so it's going really well. Some of the highlights are we're playing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on the 23rd and that's already sold out. That's a bluegrass Thursday presentation they're putting on, and then on the 28th of July I meet back up with my buddy and fellow Aggie Lyle Lovett at Red Rocks in Colorado. That I'd say is the premiere place to perform in the United States."

"You're lucky in this life to have a friend just for a few years, but to be in the music and be friends with Lyle Lovett for 35 years, it's a miracle. It's unbelievable. We have a good time and share a lot of songs on stage and a lot of stories backstage."

"It was a labor of love making my new bluegrass album. I was a fan of bluegrass music even before I went to college. When I got to Texas A&M, that's pretty much what we played. We played traditional country music and we played blue grass whether we played it well or not, we played it anyway and we loved playing it. It got to the point where I thought, 'You know, if I don't make a bluegrass record now then I never will.' I called up Lloyd Maines because I'd worked with him before and he's been my friend for many years and he said "Yeah, I can do a bluegrass record." We started putting together the players and the songs and it was absolutely the most fun I had ever had in the studio because everybody just got a huge kick out of playing the songs. As a record it sound sonically beautiful, so I'm really proud of it."

"My favorite sports memories or just memories in general at Texas A&M started even before I went to school here. I had some buddies in the Corps and they needed a place to have a big ol' party and so I rented out my house to them. I came back and it was just totally destroyed, it took me like a month to get it back together. My dad went to t.u. and we grew up going to the Aggie game when it was in College Station and then we'd go to the game in Austin. So every other year, we would go back and forth and from the time I was a little kid, I was just totally enamored by the whole maroon and white. I asked my dad 'Why are you for the orange guys?" He'd say, 'Well, because that's the good team' and I said, 'I dont know I kind of like these other guys.' I guess that's how I ended up at Texas A&M."

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