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West Textures


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Audio CD, January 5, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 5, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000000EWH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sing One For Sister
2. The Road Goes On Forever
3. Maria
4. Sonora's Death Row
5. Mariano
6. Don't Turn Out The Light
7. Leavin' Tennessee
8. Jennifer Johnson and Me
9. The Five Pound Bass
10. It's The Little Things
11. Love's A Word I Never Throw Around

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Though Robert Earl Keen was previously best known as Lyle Lovett's college buddy, this 1989 release established the Texas troubadour as a master of the musical narrative. His ambitious story songs extend from the rambunctious anthemry of "The Road Goes On Forever" (later covered by Joe Ely) to the bittersweet border balladry of "Mariano." Other highlights include the deadpan hilarity of "It's the Little Things" and the deadly serious "Love's a Word I Never Throw Around." While Keen's singing tends toward nasal monotone, the strength of the songcraft and the sprite settings established by producer Jim Rooney and a virtuosic band transcend the vocal limitations. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Hamlin on February 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Robert Earl strikes again with "West Textures," a perennial road trip, drinking and barbecue favorite.
"The Road Goes On Forever" is the jammin' ballad that turns Keen concerts into revivals, with full-grown men and women frothing at the mouth with a down-with-The-Man fervor. "The Five Pound Bass" is the time-honored search for the fish *thiiiiiiis* big [it's as big as a goddamned BABY], "It's the Little Things" the plight of annoyed married folk far and wide [and adapted by comedian Rodney Carrington in "Little Things" on "Hangin' With Rodney], and "Don't Turn Out the Light" the ever-familiar story of the drunk arriving home after a night at the bar.
In contrast, "Sonora's Death Row" spins a tale of an accidental killing on a cowboy's night off in a Mexican town, the unavoidable weight of a Guanajuato man's separation from his family in "Mariano," and the reflections of first love in "Jennifer Johnson & Me." My personal favorite, however, is "Love's a Word I Never Throw Around," a simple declaration of a man's love in spite of his ending relationship. Robert Earl doesn't often bend to the pressure for a happy ending, and that honesty makes his work stick long after the CD stops playing.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Billy-Bob Garcia on January 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this tape about 8 yrs ago after watching his show in College Station, TX; ever since then I have wondered why he wasn't a HUGE star. I listened to it on a couple of cross country drives and sang along for about a thousand miles before changing cassetes. Get it, listen to it, live it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Ulrey on August 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Hard to believe it had been nearly five years since Keen's last studio album when "West Textures" emerged fully formed form the dusty plains of the Lone Star State (Keen had issued a live album in the interim but both it and it's studio predecessor, "No Kinda Dancer", had long been forgotten, if ever they'd been truly discovered in the first place; no, nearly everyone who considers themself an "old school" REK fan picked up on him with this album and backtracked over the previous two afterward). Although only having one real breakout hit, "West Textures" set the template for not only Keen's repertoire but a host of imitators, something "No Kinda Dancer" - though near perfect in it's own right - failed to do.But what a hit that breakout was. "The Road Goes On Forever" cemented Keen's legend instantly, being covered immediately by other notable Texas luminaries such as Joe Ely, and even if the mass country audience didn't discover it until a few years later when the live version hit radio, the impact was felt not only on a younger breed such as the likes of Pat Green, but Keen's hardened tales of unexpurgated life on the cowboy edge both informed and validated a generation of his idols and predecessors (is it any wonder Guy Clark experienced a resurgence about this time, not only in popularity but in songcraft as well?). Keen's manifesto was liberal amounts of Steve Earle (whose "Tom Ames' Prayer" he would go on to cover) fused with the irreverent folk of John Prine and maybe a little Rodney Crowell (a fellow Houstonian) as well.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is the best. You must listen to it over and over to catch each subtle lyric. Sonora's Death Row is incredible. It's like a little movie in itself. "The Road Goes On Forever" is on this one, but that is one of REK's weaker songs on this CD. Listen to it and you won't be sorry if you're a true Keen fan. You actually feel every song on this CD. True TEXAS music. If I could only write like that! WOW
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maria Bergh on September 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Robert Earl for years and this is by far one of the better cds. The ballads on this particular cd tell stories that are identifiable and heart-breaking. But, just when you think you're about to cry it rips into a boot-stomping, clap-your-hands song. A must have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I love Texas singer-songwriters -- Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt. One day I heard this on an indie radio station and when I heard it as what I thought was "West Texas" I instantly made a note (while driving on the highway!) as a "must have". I bought it and have been playing it lots for the past few years. Gringo Honeymoon is also good. REK is a master, and this album is a rare treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Profbamm on September 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
REK has long been known in Texas, and has a huge college following. He should be a huge star, but shuns the Nashville spotlight. All of his cd's are a must for road trips of all kind for the wonderful lyrics and stories woven into the songs. If you like Jerry Jeff Walker and other Texas folk singers, REK is a must to consider your collection complete.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Henderson on August 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stellar throughout. Excellent songwriting, with all but two of the songs penned by REK. Of course there is the classic "Road", but this is just chock-full of excellent songs - songs of love, adventure, heartbreak, etc. Hard to beat having Jerry Douglas featured on most tracks. An earlier, simpler Robert Earl Keen. Highly recommended if you are only going to buy 2-3 of his CDs for your collection.
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