You might think that to write and perform country music an artist would need to be up on the current trends within the genre. You might even assume they would have to listen to country music on the radio. Well, Robert Earl Keen has blown up those ideas. Not only does he not listen to country music on the radio, he doesn’t listen to most genres of music.
When we asked Keen what he loves on country radio he didn’t quite know what to say because he exclusively listens to classical music.
“Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev – I love classical music,” he said after apologizing for not knowing what was happening on country radio. It’s not that he dislikes anything happening in the country industry, he just loves orchestral music.
“I’ve been a lifelong [classical music fan]. My first musical experiences were all classical music experiences.”
Keen’s love for the genre extends to his philanthropic work. He holds a benefit for the Hill Country Youth Orchestra in Kerrville, TX, a tuition-free orchestra program that encourages and nurtures musical talent in the Texas Hill Country.