Joe Ely






























































Joe Ely
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Everybody else romances the road. Joe Ely lives it. Call him what you want - a wandering minstrel, gypsy cowboy, visionary song poet, or houserocker on fire - whatever he is, Ely's covered a lot of ground in his time. He really has ridden the rails (in a circus train, no less), thumbed his way across the country, hopped boats to exotic foreign lands, and ridden horses across the prairie. All part of the relentless quest for revelation that only a journey can satisfy. Those sort of restless yearnings come naturally to a boy from Lubbock, Texas, where the flat dusty landscape, endless sky and vast horizons have inspired several generations of young creative types to fill up all that empty space with music, as Buddy Holly did, as did Waylon Jennings, and Roy Orbison all the way to the current Lubbock Mob consisting of Ely and his compadres Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Terry Allen. Like them, Joe Ely has proved to himself before he proved to a growing number of faithful that when it comes to the mystical process of writing, singing, and performing music, there's no pretending or holding back. Where he comes from, you put your emotions on the line each and every night. That upbringing led Joe Ely to roam the earth and preach the gospel of the Roadhouse, extolling the virtues of the nowhere-else-but-Texas pressure cooker environment where hard core country and the rawest kind of rock and roll collide on the dance floor every Saturday night. The first milestone was a band called the Flatlanders, formed in Lubbock more than twenty years ago by Ely, Hancock and Gilmore. Their visionary melding of country, rock, and fold immediately pegged them as three singer- songwriters who were ahead of their time and way too experimental for Nashville. Next came the Joe Ely Band, Joe's own ensemble who once again mixed country and rock elements into something new and completely different, proving to anyone that heard them that an accordion or pedal steel guitar really could pack the same sonic punch as an electric guitar. In England, the Panhandle poets and his pickers were embraced by the Clash, the standard bearers of the nascent punk movement, who might not have shared the same cultural values as the West Texans, but who certainly knew integrity when they heard it. Since then, Ely has gained the respect of his friends and his peers, including such kindred spirits as Bruce Springsteen, who contributes vocals on his latest album, along with old friend Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and new friend Raul Malo of the Mavericks. Whatever qualities grabbed their attention, Joe Ely remains a Texas original. In Austin, where he now lives and works, a body of work that spans thirteen albums and his willingness to put it all on the line each and every night has rightfully accorded him status akin to royalty. But no matter how virtuous those qualities and associations seem in retrospect, and no matter how illustrious his performing and recording career may be, all the accomplishments and accolades suddenly seem like mere preludes that have been building up to Letter to Laredo. On this collection of songs, Joe Ely simply sets out to demonstrate what all the fuss is about. He sings of distance, about rivers and ranches, of smoldering passions and sad laments, of faraway longing and unrequited love. He sings of journeys that take him from the High Plains of West Texas to dark and mysterious flamenco bars in Spanish Andalusia, where Arab, African, and European influences commingle. And more than once he can be seen and heard chasing hearts and souls south across the Rio Grande. The voice is that of a man who speaks fluently the patois of honky tonks and juke joints, who can hold an audience around a campfire riveted until the break of dawn, or inspire a crowd of thousands to kick up their bootheels in a two-step or a stomp. It's a voice that can converse with a pistolero as directly as it conveys intimacy to a lover, or articulates that high lonesome feeling known to everyone who has ever hurt. So pull up a chair, cut a rug, or hit the highway. Listener's choice. The songs that Joe Ely sings are the stuff that makes anyone's journey something worth remembering.
Date Venue City State Note
No Tour Dates Available
11/23/2010 - Hopes up high  - Read More
06/04/2010 - Genre-jumping Texas icon Joe Ely keeps the music fresh - Read More
09/29/2009 - On the rails with Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Dave Alvin - Read More
06/24/2009 - Poodie's Picnic at the Backyard this weekend - Read More
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No Blogs Available
02/01/2007 - Joe Ely Q&A - Read More
05/01/2003 - Joe Ely Q&A '03 - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 29


Joe Ely  08/15/2003            
mac
everybody in the texas music scene should bow down and kiss joe ely's boots. he is one of the true pioneers.
Joe Ely  08/06/2003            
abe
joe is a panhandle music institution
Joe Ely  07/01/2003            
Olin Mac
Finally! Joe Ely's first two albums on CD, and the same disc to boot!! If you know these songs, youre a fan and have been awhile, and you'll want this CD to replace your wornout vinyl (like me). If you dont know 'em, youre in for a BIG treat. Check out the fine efforts from Joe, from "back in the day". Cant go worng! Great tunes from a great artist, and a genuine nice guy. Thanks Joe!
Joe Ely  04/12/2002            
Salie Goodin'
Joe has a unique way of connecting with the audience because he truly feels his fans are his friends. If you can possibly imagine an ultimate sounding CD sounding even better by live musicians -- you have Joe's band (which from time to time has included the incredible Charlie Sexton and many other notable musicians). Joe is gifted, sincere and warm. Joe is open and gives you a peek into his soul as he writes and sings. Perhaps that's why so many of my friends and I go out of our way to see him in Austin, Gruene, Houston, Dallas, Galveston and yes, even strange places like Seabrook or Bedford! A true original, there is really no special classification for Joe's music. Is it country? No. Is it rock? No. Americana? What the heck is that really anyway? It's just pure Texas. At Greune recently he sang a new song about the tragic flood in New B. that reminded us of how fragile our memories and precious possessions are. Joe seems to have a unique understanding of human nature which he presents in a timeless musical fashion, which in my book represents pure class. While performing at Gruene one night last December, he stated that he was very happy to be at Gruene and that he couldn't think of any other place he'd rather be. We all believed it because he poured so much into his show and has such a delightful appreciative nature. Joe performed the best live show I've ever seen at Party on the Plaza in Houston a few years ago and my lucky friends and I who attended will never ever forget it. I would love to run away with Joe, but he's married and besides, would have to build a trailer to just to haul all my shoes around with us on the road. I will never outgrow being a groupie when it comes to Joe Ely, my very favorite musician of all time. Joe's bass player, Gary Herman is every bit as warm and wonderful as Joe. What a great bunch. I have seven, count them, of Joe's CDs, and I adore every one. Everybody who I turn on to Joe, young and old are thankful for the exposure. Joe is like the Lone Star. A "Lone" because he is so unique, a "Star" due to his natural musical gift.
Joe Ely  11/04/2001            
SmokinAxles
Going to a Joe Ely concert is a event you dont forget, like your wedding day or your graduation. Joe puts on the best show in the business and I have seen the best but this guys just wont quite when it comes to performing every night and every night its different and a memory of a genuis in the music business. Sorry Springsteen fans, Joe kicks ass every day and was been for years,he is the real boss!!!
Joe Ely  10/21/2001            
KC
The three Live Ely albums are the absolute best live albums ever made. They capture what is best about Ely, an extrordinary live show that with some of the best musicianship around. "Live at Antones" is a must have. It has it all, from the West-Tex rock of Maines and Taylor dueling on strings to the Nor-Mex sound of Teye on guitaron and Guzman on the squeeze, and all the way Ely belting out strong vocals. This CD is definately 5 stars out of 5.
Joe Ely  10/21/2001            
KC
The three Live Ely albums are the absolute best live albums ever made. They capture what is best about Ely, an extrordinary live show that with some of the best musicianship around. "Live at Antones" is a must have. It has it all, from the West-Tex rock of Maines and Taylor dueling on strings to the Nor-Mex sound of Teye on guitaron and Guzman on the squeeze, and all the way Ely belting out strong vocals. This CD is definately 5 stars out of 5.
Joe Ely  09/05/2001            
missouri
Honky Tonk Masquerade was in my record library the year it came out. Put it in your cd collection and you can own one of the best albums ever released.
Joe Ely  03/16/2001            
BrettC
Joe Ely is a great songwriter and can talk with his guitar!
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