Robert Earl Keen's legendary status is firmly in place. He has earned his fans' loyalty over the past 30 years and seventeen albums. Keen's 2009 CD, "The Rose Hotel" was the best, most complete release of his illustrious career, and he was rewarded with Top 20 status on the Billboard U.S. Country Charts. At this point, Keen is charged with following that up, and appears to have done very well with the release of "Ready For Confetti".

Enlisting the talents of Grammy Award winning producer Lloyd Maines, there is a considerably more pop edge to the songs on "Ready For Confetti". The first single, "I Gotta Go", for instance, has the gritty sound, but has the cool pop feeling you get from an old Tom Petty record.

As a Robert Earl Keen fan, I love this album for a lot of reasons. It shows off a new interest in commercial success that Keen has never bothered to pay much attention to in the past. The songs on "Confetti" are shorter and more suitable for radio play, but they all still have that "Road Goes On Forever"-like organic feel of traditional Keen music that seems to end when it's darn good and ready - and not a moment sooner. Songs like "Lay Down My Brother", "Paint The Town Beige", and "Soul Of Man" off the new CD are great examples...same ol' Robert Earl, but shorter songs.

Robert Earl Keen is too cool to be considered a sellout, so don't bother to go down that road. He is still the same guy who told the pop-rock band Kings Of Leon to "man up" and called them "sissies" after they cancelled a Dallas concert last summer due to the heat. Keen simply continues to make better music all the time, and in turn, improves on his legendary status. In the past 20 years, Robert Earl Keen has had as much impact on the Texas/Red Dirt music scene as anyone, and "Ready For Confetti" only improves on his reputation.

All of this being said about his studio work, Keen's music is always going to be best enjoyed live. Here's Robert performing "Paint The Town Beige" in Austin. It comes complete with a long, winding explanation about the song, plus "I'm Coming Home" for good measure. What more would you expect from Robert Earl Keen?