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Farm Fresh Onions based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Well, it's time again for a new Robert Earl Keen CD. A fresh one from the garden! “Farm Fresh Onions” got it’s name from a challenge from his wife Kathleen referring to a mesh bag that sported such a label, but actually contained South Texas grapefruits. Kathleen suggested that Robert write something with that name. I began my experience with this new project by "peeling" the onion of its cellophane skin. Keen's style has evolved over the last 20 years from simple folk tinged ditties to the more recent electric sets with occasional country standards. The new album is no different from this trend. At this rate Robert will be doing full-scale punk or at least grunge by the time he is 50. Just Kidding! The opening song "Furnace Fan" brings us a tale from the road and the new Olympic sport of "Smush Ball". Smush Ball is a game in which there is a challenge to throw a paper wad into somebody else's cup holder on the tour bus. Many of the tracks on this new effort have a central theme of traveling. This seems appropriate for an artist that spends as much time touring as Keen does. The instrumentation is it's usual tight sound lead by producer/Guitarist Rich Brotherton, a guest appearance from Shawn Colvin and keyboards by Ian McLagan(Small Faces & Faces). The only non Keen written song is "Out Here In The Middle" which was penned by James McMurtry. "Train Trek" almost sounds if either "Casey Jones" or "Sixteen Tons" was an influence because of all of the mentions of "number nine coal" and an impending train wreck! The title track and "Floppy Shoes" are fun little numbers that sounds like they stepped out of the late sixties including a Clavinet that sounds as if it came from a Stevie Wonder or Billy Preston song. "Gone On" is more toward a traditional my baby walked out and left me behind number. "So Sorry Blues" is the first foray into Blues that I've heard Robert Do. This song is a lament about the lazy man that Keen proclaims himself to be. The beat is a little slower than most blues songs to accentuate the laziness. He says, "I plan to quit procrastinating, then decided I should wait". "Beats The Devil" almost sounds as if the vocals were recorded underwater. "These Years" "Famous Words" and "Let The Music Play" sound like Keen from an earlier era. These songs will please many long time listeners who were used to the more acoustic sounds from Keen's early years. At last we've reached the core of the Onion and the raucous hidden track shows Keen may have reached my earlier prediction ahead of schedule. This is what I used to refer to as South Austin Progressive Punk Country. All in all it sounded if the guys had a lot of fun making this record. This album is on par with the last few efforts and should spend a lot of time in your CD player. It is worth the purchase and worth going to a show if the tour comes through your town!!! Support Robert Earl Keen!!! Support Live Music!!! Support non-commercial and Americana Radio!!! Find the Onion in yourself!!!