Picnic finds Robert Earle Keen at the top of his form, telling detailed stories with remarkably simple and expressive rustic accompaniment. The record boasts a somewhat cleaner sound than before, since it's targeted at the alt-country audience who have embraced the artists Keen has influenced. Even with such slight sonic compromises, the essence of his music has not been diluted, and his emotionally direct country-folk is as affecting as ever. Of particular note is "Then Came Lo Mein," a lovely duet with Margo Timmins from Cowboy Junkies.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine