The city of Houston proclaimed April 1, 2005, as Robert Earl Keen Day, in conjunction with Keen's headlining appearance at Frontier Fiesta at the University of Houston. Keen was born in Houston but now lives near Austin. The proclamation mentions his journalism degree from Texas A&M, where he also learned to play guitar. It also calls him "one of the pioneers of alternative country music" and "a top-ranked country folk artist." Keen will release a new album, What I Really Mean, on May 10.