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Best

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Robert Earl Keen is an archetypical Texas singer/songwriter, someone who can mine both laughter and tragedy from life along the dusty margins of life in the Lone Star State, and seeing that he's been recording good-to-great albums of his material since 1984, a comprehensive and well-programmed compilation offering a fully rounded introduction to his music would be more than welcome. However, 2007's Best isn't quite that album. While Keen had recorded a dozen albums by the time this was released, Best draws its 17 tunes from only six discs, two of which are live albums and three of which Farm Fresh Onions, What I Really Mean and Live at the Ryman are relatively recent ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Robert Earl Keen is an archetypical Texas singer/songwriter, someone who can mine both laughter and tragedy from life along the dusty margins of life in the Lone Star State, and seeing that he's been recording good-to-great albums of his material since 1984, a comprehensive and well-programmed compilation offering a fully rounded introduction to his music would be more than welcome. However, 2007's Best isn't quite that album. While Keen had recorded a dozen albums by the time this was released, Best draws its 17 tunes from only six discs, two of which are live albums and three of which Farm Fresh Onions, What I Really Mean and Live at the Ryman are relatively recent efforts that presumably dominate the second half of this collection because they were easy to license rather than because they represent Keen's finest work. Quite frankly, a number of Keen's best songs are missing, such as "Dreadful Selfish Crime," "The Front Porch Song" and "I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight," while fan favorites like "The Five Pound Bass," "The Buckin' Song," "Barbecue" and "The Bluegrass Widow" don't make the cut, either. That said, if Best doesn't quite present Keen's best material or even all his best known, there's little arguing that what's here is great stuff; Keen, who compiled this disc, has edited a satisfying sampler, hitting a graceful balance between crowd pleasers like "Merry Christmas from the Family" and "The Road Goes on Forever" the latter prefaced by a rambling story in which Keen loses his car and his girl but meets Willie Nelson and more resonant numbers like "Corpus Christi Bay," "Whenever Kindness Fails" and "For Love." If you're looking for a concise, career-spanning overview of Robert Earl Keen's long career in music, Best isn't as much help as you might wish, but the consistent quality is a sure convincer if you or someone you know wants some evidence of Keen's very real talent as a tunesmith and a performer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/26/2007
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 684038411429
  • Catalog Number: 4114
  • Sales rank: 10,286

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Earl Keen Jr. Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Marty Stuart Mandolin
Nanci Griffith Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Joe Ely Pedal Steel Guitar
Lyle Lovett Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Ian McLagan Organ
Danny Barnes Banjo
Rich Brotherton Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Nick Connolly Organ
Bryan Duckworth Fiddle
Dave Durocher Drums, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Fred Gumaer Drums
John Hagen Cello
Dan Huckabee Dobro
Lloyd Maines Pedal Steel Guitar
George Marinelli Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Marty Muse Pedal Steel Guitar
Riley Osborne Piano
Michael Snow Bodhran, Tenor Banjo
Jay Spell Accordion
Tommy Spurlock Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Gut String Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Paul Sweeney Mandolin
Garry Tallent Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Jonathan Yudkin Violin
Denice Franke Vocals, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Dan Augustine Trombone, Tuba
Mike Landschoot Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Phil Richey Trumpet
Tom Van Schaik Percussion, Drums
Bill Schas Trombone
Bill Whitbeck Bass, Electric Bass, Bass Guitar
Elliott Rogers Vocal Harmony
Eamon McLoughlin Fiddle, Viola
Elliott Rogers Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Rich Brotherton Producer, Audio Production
Robert Earl Keen Jr. Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Randy LeRoy Mastering
Lloyd Maines Producer, Audio Production
Garry Velletri Producer, Audio Production
Dan Augustine Horn Arrangements
Bill Whitbeck Composer
Elizabeth Yoon Art Direction
Melissa Story Haycraft Executive Producer
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