The Rose Hotel

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Texas giant Robert Earl Keen’s first album in five years finds him settling rapidly back into a groove, spending much of The Rose Hotel ceding the spotlight to others’ voices and words. Greg Brown duets on his own “Laughing River,” Billy Bob Thornton turns up on “10,000 Chinese Walk Into a Bar,” The Band’s Levon Helm is saluted warmly on “The Man Behind the Drums,” and Robert Earl covers the late Townes Van Zandt’s “Flyin’ Shoes.” It’s an accordingly low-key turn made only more appealing by its easygoing sense of humility.

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