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Eric Church explains why he signed on to open for one of Robert Earl Keen’s final shows

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

Robert Earl Keen is currently on a farewell tour before retiring at the end of the summer, but he’s going out in style: The legendary singer-songwriter has enlisted Eric Church as an opening act at his penultimate show in Texas this September.

Seeing Eric as an opening act is a pretty rare occurrence these days. For years, the country superstar has been a bona fide headliner, and he even helmed a couple of stand-alone stadium dates earlier this summer, with acts like Morgan Wallen as his direct support.

But the chance to open for REK himself doesn’t come around that often, and the legendary act has been a huge influence on Eric as an artist.

“We used to cover ‘Corpus Christi Bay’ in my bar band in North Carolina in college,” the Chief explained on social media. That song comes off of Keen’s 1993 album, A Bigger Piece of Sky. “When he asked me to join him on the last shows of his career, I told him I’d do whatever he wanted.”

Eric also name-checked one of Keen’s most popular songs, 1989’s “The Road Goes on Forever,” as he continued to sum up the singer-songwriter’s massive impact.

“I’m happy to join him at Floore’s to help send him off into the sunset,” Eric continued. “But don’t forget friends…The road goes on forever and the party never ends.”

Eric’s opening set will take place on September 3 at Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Texas. REK is closing out his farewell tour with three sold-out stops at the venue on September 1, 3 and 4.

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