For the better part of 25 years, Robert Earl Keen has been the very definition of troubadour, a Lone Star musician with his dial permanently set to "tour." In fact, he's been too busy zigzagging the country with his long-time backing band to bother getting an inroad into the Nashville country music grinder. But it's paid off in the spades known as reverence. He has legions upon squads of followers and imitators alike and now gets mentioned in the same ranks as Jimmie Dale Gilmore or Townes Van Zandt; he's pretty much the most successful Texas English major ever. And no doubt he has an author's wicked wit behind his cowboy chords. Who else is going to whip up something like "The Great Hank," a song about a Hank Williams impersonator getting drunk in a sequined dress and lipstick?