Music » Critics' Picks

Robert Earl Keen

8 p.m. Wednesday, February 10. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.



Robert Earl Keen is good at writing and singing all sorts of Texas-y songs — the quirky narrative, the love song, the Lone Star party anthem. There's one species of Keen song, though, that only occasionally crops up and always flies under the radar. Call it the Texas Confessional, in which a narrator owns up to squandered opportunity with disarming detail and self-awareness. Two examples of this type, both from the '90s: "Corpus Christi Bay" ("I never could stay sober/On the Corpus Christi Bay") and "Dreadful Selfish Crime" ("I am guilty of a dreadful selfish crime/I have robbed myself of all my precious time"). On his new disc, The Rose Hotel, Keen presents a variation on the theme, an Upbeat Texas Confessional. The song is "Something I Do," the chorus, "I kinda like just doin' nothin'/It's something that I do." Drop whatever it is you're doin' and go see you some Keen.