Personnel: Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Reaiah Morgan (vocals); Rich Brotherton (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, classical guitar, National Resophonic guitar, tenor banjo); Gurf Morlix (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, lap steel guitar, mandocello, 6-string bass, Regal octaphone); Bithyah Israel (vocals, cello); Bill Whitbeck (vocals, trombone, acoustic fretless & electric basses); Lloyd Maines (pedal steel guitar); Bryan Duckworth (acoustic & electric mandolins, violin, fiddle, background vocals); Gene Elders (violin); Ponty Bone (accordion); Ian McLagen (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Tom Van Schaik (drums, bodhan, congas, bells, background vocals); Zachary Koock (background vocals).
Engineers: Stuart Sullivan, Larry Greenhill.
Recorded at Arlyn Studios, Austin, Texas.
Keen is often compared to (and found in the company of) Lyle Lovett, another country-rooted iconoclast with a good sense of humor. That's pretty much were the similarities end though. On WALKING DISTANCE, Keen advances the style he spent years pursuing; a blend of country, rock and folk marked by a knack for sharp, detail-oriented lyricism and an appealing light-heartedness. On tunes like "Down That Dusty Trail" and "Billy Gray," Keen's homey voice is instantly communicative and personal; all the better to deliver his heartfelt, worldly observations. Fans of Joe Ely (whose rough timbre Keen sometimes suggests) in particular will find much to enjoy here.