It’s hard to believe that it’s almost exactly 20 years since I first heart “Corpus Christi Bay” by Robert Earl Keen (thanks Steve Baker!). After all this time, it remains my favorite Robert Earl song and this record that contains it remains my favorite of his many fine albums. There are other classics here: “Whenever Kindness Fails,” most notably, as well as “Blow You Away,” “When I Can Take My Rest,” and “Paint the Town Beige” (a song that rings truer the older I get). But “Corpus Christi Bay” remains the quintessential Robert Earl song—witty (“He said he finally gave up drinking, then he ordered me a beer”) and extraordinarily perceptive about the quiet desperation so characteristic in the lives of many young males in our society.
Sugar Hill Records, 1993. [All-Music Guide review]