Joe rocks the rock. A classic evening with the inimitable. Joel Guzman, accordionist supreme, was in terrific form, as well. Enjoy these still photos by Rocney Bursiel. And thanks to the great energy and good spirits of all who were there.
His songs get in the blood -- "All Just to Get to You," "Me and Billy the Kid," "Letter to Laredo," and "She Never Spoke Spanish to Me," are merely a few examples.
It's been a relatively long time since Joe Ely started The Flatlanders (along with Butch Hancock and Jimmy Dale Gilmore) in the dusty, flat plains of Lubbock, Texas, and life has taken him on quite a journey. He's hopped trains, hitched his way across the country, and even taken a spontaneous boat or two to exotic and distant places. He dons the life of a country rockin' road warrior, and he wears it well.
He released his first commercial All American Music album in 1972 with The Flatlanders, but the Nashville establishment wasn't ready for the fresh country and rock fusion the West Texan poets had to offer. The group disbanded in 1973. All three moved on to substantial solo careers, and Joe is certainly no exception.
Now with a total of more than twenty five albums under his belt (including collaborations with Bruce Springsteen and tours with The Clash, Lyle Lovett, and Guy Clark) and his unexpected reunion with The Flatlanders (Hey, it only took thirty years!), Joe has earned himself legendary status in the realm of country and Americana, and downright royalty in the Central Texas community. Lately, he's been one of the core members of the band Los Super Seven, playing "fine-tuned 'Border' music, which combines Tejano, rock, country and Tex Mex." (Billboard magazine). His book Bonfire of Roadmaps was published by the UT press in 2007 and chronicles many influential moments in his more than 35 years of world travel.
It is our privilege to present this beloved Texan troubadour to the stage and community of Blue Rock.