Robert Earl Keen 'Ready For Confetti' Humphead/Lost Highway

Through the years Robert Earl Keen has cover all aspects of Texas Roots music from the frat-boy singalongs, fevered road songs to songs of the working man and more. On this latest offering Keen touches on many of those bases. From the Spanish guitar intro to the opening Baldy Baldy Station, through the uptempo joyessness of the title song with it sunny disposition and sing along chorus. The Road Goes On And On is a put down of a person who has high regard for himself. Waves Of The Ocean a song co-wriitten by Keen and Dean Dillon has a interesting rhythmic structure that makes stands out from the other songs and points to the assembled musicians versatility and, again, to that of Keen. And this a very fine set of players which includes Keen regulars Rich Brotherton, Bill Whitbeck and Marty Muse. Add to that Mickey Raphael, Bukka Allen and Lloyd Maines - who also produced the album, amongst others, but there all there to work the songs and they do so with style. Atop of that is another distinctive vocal performance from a very recognizable singer who conveys the humour, pathos and breath of these songs. Play A Train Song, written by Todd Snider, is a plea for a song that runs on rails when when one's like may have run off them for a final time. Life passing is also the theme of Paint The Town Beige. Coming to terms with life's vicissitudes is something that runs through many of the songs here, which is perhaps fitting for a man who has been around the music industry for a long time but who has made an album that is a strong as anything he has done. The album closes with the hymn like Soul Of Man a song arranged by, though not written by, Keen which has a lovely vocal presence, with several voices in harmony and making a fitting and telling album closer. May the road go on and on.