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Picnic


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Picnic
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Audio CD, April 29, 1997
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. UndoneRobert Earl Keen 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Over The WaterfallRobert Earl Keen 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. LevellandRobert Earl Keen 5:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I Wonder Where My Baby Is TonightRobert Earl Keen 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Oh RosieRobert Earl Keen 5:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Runnin' With The NightRobert Earl Keen 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Coming Home Of The Son And BrotherRobert Earl Keen 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shades Of GrayRobert Earl Keen 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Fourth Of JulyRobert Earl Keen 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Then Came Lo MeinRobert Earl Keen Duet With Margo Timmins 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista Austin
  • ASIN: B000002VQZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,652 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Compared to Willie Nelson or Butch Hancock, Keen fits squarely in the second rank of Texas songwriters, but even a relatively slick work like Picnic is better than the bulk of what's produced these days in Nashville. Nothing here approaches the knockout wit of Keen's "Merry Christmas from the Family," but "Shades of Gray," the story of small-town criminals almost arrested for a robbery they didn't commit, and "Then Came Lo Mein," about a guy uncorking a lifetime of frustration during a cheap Chinese dinner, are both examples of Lone Star storytelling at its best. --Keith Moerer

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
It all sounds good.
Joe G. Brannen
They are songs about lost love and hard travel on dusty highways and brawls in dirty barrooms and being poor and smoking and drinking and you-know-what-ing.
Michael Z. Jody
Stil a big fan of REK.
John Endendyk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JFC on October 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
My favorite thing about Robert Earl Keen is that he puts the heart and soul back in country music, if you can even call this country. It's a Texas thing, and one with no real genre. But anyway, it's dadgum fine stuff.
One of Keen's better efforts, Picnic is a mix of depression, desperation, longing, and regret. Good music for when you're feelin' down, just pop this in and let it rip, sing along at the top of your lungs.
Keen brings you down with "Oh Rosie's" relentless waltz tempo and mournful lyrics, you feel alone with "I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight" and regret every botched relationship to "Forth of July" and "Over the Waterfall."
And you love every minute of it. These songs are absolutely fantastic, immensely catchy, and you'll find yourself hitting repeat again and again.
Contrasted against the mostly blue music on this disc are "Coming Home of the Son and Brother" and "Runnin' with the Night," two songs that make you want to roll down the windows and put the pedal to the floor.
If you like Keen, you've got to have this. If you haven't tried Keen, this is as good a place as any to start. Just be ready to buy the other nine albums. :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By V. Gelczis on October 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Although I've tried to spread the gospel of REK for years with my friends, many were not converted (No. 2 Live Dinner did the trick for a few). Too much "yuck, yuck, pluck, pluck" for some, although the funny songs are what drew me in at first. I stayed for the depth of his songwriting skills.
This album seems to pull in even the most sophisticated listeners. I find that this collection (and the subsequent "Walking Distance") showcase both REK's amazing songwriting skills and musical eclecticism. He always picks strong songs to cover, and here he blows us away with James McMurtry's "Levelland" and Dave Alvin's "4th of July."
But the originals are the real powerhouse here, from the sweet solemnity of "I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight" to the anthemic pleading of "Oh Rosie" to the instant-classic "Shades of Gray." And we even get our yucks in the comic yet poignant "Then Came Lo Mein."
I don't mind that REK didn't use his usual band for a lot of the songs. I've got all the other albums when I want to hear the band. I think it's great to hear his music showcased in this way--with the beautiful vocal backings of Margo Timmins and some hot licks by the multi-talented Tim O'Brien.
If someone's told you to check out Robert Earl Keen, by all means, give "Picnic" a listen. Then get yourself "No. 2 Live Dinner" to find out the story behind the picture on the cover of "Picnic." After that, you'll probably be buying the catalog...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Parks on April 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
PICNIC was Robert Earl Keen's 1st new studio record after leaving his longtime label Sugar Hill, for the greener ($$$) pastures of a major label. Though some of the homey, folky intimacy of Keen's early records is lost, it is made up for with newfound confidence and fullness of sound that manifests itself as a multi-layered, multi-dimensional, somewhat more alt. rock-ish sound.
Although primarily noted as a songwriter, an often-overlooked aspect of Keen's talent is his gift for interpreting other writer's material. Terry Allen's "Amarillo Highway," for example, on BIGGER PIECE OF THE SKY, and his definitive rendition of the Steve Earle-penned "Tom Ames' Prayer" from GRINGO HONEYMOON. On PICNIC, Keen again shows his gift for making other folks' songs his own on James McMurtry's classic of Texas topography "Levelland," and a somber take on Dave Alvin's brilliant-but-neglected gem "Fourth of July."
Far be it from Keen to rely on other guys' material to get him through an album, though. Keen is at his story-telling best on "Undone," "Oh, Rosie," and "Shades and Gray," and Margo Timmins (the talented vocalist from the Cowboy Junkies) lends some additional vocal color to the equally impressive "Over the Waterfall" and "Then Came Lo Mein."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Coffey on May 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Despite being a huge Robert Earl fan, I waited a long time to get this album - it just didn't light my fire. I came back to it long after its release, though, and finally got converted. The cover of James McMurtry's Levelland is devestating, and it's always nice to hear Dave Alvin's Fourth of July - especially for those of us within shouting distance of Willie's Picnic. Shades of Grey and Undone are nice little rockers, and I just love I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight. A pretty solid effort overall.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bt on August 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
REK is regarded as one of the finest songwriter's in country,folk,roots rock music; ask his peers. The man is amazing. This disc made cry,laugh, and get a speeding ticket in one listen! He touches so many area's with his brand of Texas music,(that's the best way to describe it,)that it blow's me away. As far as I'm concerned, he's a top five artist on my all-time list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Z. Jody on September 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
There's just something amazing about Robert Earl Keen. The voice, the words, the phrasing. The guy is great. He has been often been compared (favorably) with Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Adam Carroll and other storytelling Texas/Country/Folk singers. He is like them and yet totally unlike anyone else. There is a genuine country flavor that flows through Keen's songs (all but three of them on this album written by REK), but they have a nostalgia, sadness, and sweet naïve innocence that most (certainly most modern) country often lacks. They are songs about lost love and hard travel on dusty highways and brawls in dirty barrooms and being poor and smoking and drinking and you-know-what-ing. They are lyrical stories and storical poetry and beautiful and warm and clever and just great to hear. If you don't know REK, this is a good place to start, and I you know him but don't have this album, then order it a'ready fer cryin' out loud. You won't regret it.
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