Robert Earl Keen - Happy Prisoner (Limited Edition Gold Double LP)
Robert Earl Keen is doing things a little differently on his next album. Namely, he’s trading red dirt for bluegrass, and you won’t see the master storyteller’s name on the songwriting credits. Keen’s Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions, set for release in February 2015 via Dualtone Records, will include his take on favorite traditional songs from the genre, written by the likes of Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, among other bluegrass legends.
“My wife and my family used to wear these crazy pajamas that had horizontal stripes, and we called them the ‘happy prisoners,'” Keen tells the Nashville Scene. “I was working on this title, and thinking, ‘I want something that is unique and sounds original.’ But at the same time, I wanted something that reflected how I feel about bluegrass. I’ve been listening to it forever, I love it, and I feel I’m somewhat locked into it. Even my own songs sometimes are formatted — not instrument-wise, but verse-chorus-wise, like that. So I feel like I’m necessarily a happy prisoner of bluegrass.” -Rolling Stone