“The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is my Academy Awards,” says Robert Earl Keen. “I don’t think there is a higher honor than to be asked to host the ACL Hall of Fame and as a bonus, I don’t have to wear a tux!” The Lone Star troubadour and renowned party-starter takes the reins for the first time as host of the celebrated event. Houston-raised Keen is one of the most beloved songwriters and performers in Texas. His signature anthem “The Road Goes on Forever” recaps his remarkable music journey: over three-decades strong, with thousands of live shows under his belt, nineteen records to his name, and no end in sight to the road ahead. You can complete his anthem and sum up his storied career with its next five words—the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by legions of fans at every show— “and the party never ends!”
Keen debuted on Austin City Limits during 1989’s Season 14 as part of a Texas Showcase and has made four acclaimed headlining appearances in addition to appearing as a guest of Lyle Lovett in 2000 and returning for ACL’s milestone 40th Anniversary special in 2014. His songs have been recorded by Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, George Strait, Gillian Welch, The Highwaymen and more. Keen has received many, many accolades along the way, including his recent 2019 induction into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, where he was presented with the Rick Smith “Spirit of Texas Award”. He became the first recipient of BMI’s Troubadour Award in 2015 for songwriting. In 2012 he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame (alongside his longtime friend and Texas A&M classmate Lyle Lovett) and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University in 2018.
We hope you’ll join us as Robert Earl Keen saddles up and anchors our tributes to Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett when tickets go on sale this Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.