Joe Ely

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Joe Ely

Joe Ely in concert, 2006
Background information
Born(1947-02-09) February 9, 1947 (age 65)
OriginLubbock, Texas, United States
GenresAmericana, Texas country, country rock, progressive country, outlaw country, alt-country, heartland rock, Tex-Mex
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1970–present
LabelsMCA, Hightone
Associated actsThe Flatlanders, Los Super Seven
WebsiteJoeEly.com
 
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Joe Ely

Joe Ely in concert, 2006
Background information
Born(1947-02-09) February 9, 1947 (age 65)
OriginLubbock, Texas, United States
GenresAmericana, Texas country, country rock, progressive country, outlaw country, alt-country, heartland rock, Tex-Mex
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1970–present
LabelsMCA, Hightone
Associated actsThe Flatlanders, Los Super Seven
WebsiteJoeEly.com

Joe Ely (born February 9, 1947, Amarillo, Texas, United States) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist whose music touches on honky-tonk, Texas Country, Tex-Mex and rock and roll.

He has had a genre-crossing career, performing with Bruce Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, Los Super Seven, The Chieftains and James McMurtry in addition to his early work with The Clash and more recent acoustic tours with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, and Guy Clark.

Contents

Biography

Early life and career

Ely spent his formative years from age 12 in Lubbock, Texas and attended Monterey High School.

In 1970, with fellow Lubbock musicians Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, he formed The Flatlanders. According to Ely, "Jimmie [Gilmore] was like a well of country music. He knew everything about it. And Butch was from the folk world. I was kinda the rock & roll guy, and we almost had a triad. We hit it off and started playing a lot together. That opened up a whole new world I had never known existed."

In 1972, the band released their first and— until 2002's Now Again— only album, but have appeared together on each other's albums. Since the band's initial break-up just after their first album was cut, the three musicians have followed individual paths.

Solo career

Ely's own first, self-titled album, was released in 1977.

The following year, his band played London, where he met punk rock group The Clash. Impressed with each other's performances, the two bands would later tour together, including appearances in Ely's hometown of Lubbock, as well as Laredo and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Ely sang backing vocals on the Clash single "Should I Stay or Should I Go?", and Joe Strummer performed as a guest with Ely's band.[citation needed] Another collaboration was with Dutch flamenco guitarist Teye, with whom he recorded Letter to Laredo (1995)[1] and Twistin' in the Wind (1998).[2]

Throughout his career, Ely has issued a steady stream of albums, most on the MCA label, and a live album roughly every ten years.

The Joe Ely Band song "Brainlock" was featured in the 1980 movie Roadie starring Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper, Don Cornelius and Kaki Hunter.

In the late 1990s Ely was asked to write songs for the soundtrack of Robert Redford's movie The Horse Whisperer, which led to re-forming The Flatlanders with Gilmore and Hancock. A new album from the trio followed in 2002, with a third in 2004.

In February 2007, Ely released Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch on his own label, Rack 'Em Records. Ely said in an interview with Country Standard Time that he thought it would be easier to release the material on his own label instead of dealing with a regular record label and their release cycles. A book of Ely's writings, Bonfire of Roadmaps, was published in early 2007 by the University of Texas Press. In early 2008, Ely released a new live album featuring Joel Guzman on accordion recorded at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, Texas late 2006.

The Flatlanders released their newest album "Hills and Valleys" on March 31, 2009.

In 2011, Ely released the critically acclaimed album, "Satisfied At Last."

Discography

Albums

YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US CountryUSUS Heat
1977Joe ElyMCA
1978Honky Tonk Masquerade
1979Down on the Drag
1980Live Shots159
1981Musta Notta Gotta Lotta135
1984Hi-Res204
1987Lord of the HighwayHightone
1988Dig All Night
Milkshakes and MaltsSunstorm
What Ever Happened to Maria
1990Live at Liberty Lunch57MCA
1993Love and Danger
1995ChippyHollywood
Letter to Laredo68MCA
1998Live at CambridgeStrange Fruit
Twistin' in the Wind55MCA
2000Live @ Antones66Antones
2003Streets of Sin51Rounder
Ten in TexasIcehouse
2007Happy Songs from Rattlesnake GulchRack 'Em Records
Silver City
2008LIVE Cactus! (with Joel Guzmán)
2009LIVE Chicago 1987!
2011Satisfied At Last4618

Singles

YearSinglePeak chart
positions
Album
US CountryUS MSR
1977"All My Love"89Joe Ely
1981"Musta Notta Gotta Lotta"40Musta Notta Gotta Lotta
1993"Highways and Heartaches"Love and Danger
2011"You Can Bet I'm Gone"Satisfied at Last
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Guest singles

YearSingleArtistPeak positionsAlbum
US Country
1992"Sweet Suzanne"Buzzin' Cousins68Falling from Grace soundtrack

Music videos

YearVideoDirector
1993"Highways and Heartaches"Deaton-Flanigen

See also

References

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Alejandro Escovedo
AMA Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing
2007
Succeeded by
Jason & the Scorchers