Legendary Robert Earl Keen at MSU Riley Center Thursday

Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen has recorded 18 full-length albums, and his songs have also been covered by artists from the country, folk and Texas country music scenes including George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely and the Dixie Chicks.

Considered a patriarch of Americana music, Keen will perform his brand of musical storytelling at the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian on Thursday [Oct. 30] at 7:30 p.m. A pre-show reception will be held at 6 p.m.

The son of an oil executive father and an attorney mother, Keen is a native of Houston. His parents enjoyed both folk and country music, and his own style would land between those genres.

Keen wrote poetry while he was in high school, but it wasn't until he went to journalism school at musically fertile Texas A&M that he learned to play the guitar. He and Lyle Lovett became friends and co-wrote a song, "This Old Porch," which both later recorded.

Although both his albums and live performances span many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock, he is most commonly affiliated with the Americana movement. In fact, he was the first "Americana" artist to appear on the cover of Gavin magazine when the style was officially recognized as its own genre in 1998.

Additionally, although Keen has toured extensively both nationally and internationally throughout his career, he has long been heralded as one of the Lone Star State's most popular and consistently acclaimed musical ambassadors, leading to his induction into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.

Tickets are $43 and $37 at the MSU Riley Center box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets can be purchased online at www.msurileycenter.com or by calling the box office at 601-696-2200.

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