Another in a rich tradition of superb Texas songwriters, Joe Ely is among a select handful who hail from the wind-swept plains around Lubbock, whose panhandle geography imbues them with a haunting, grit-flecked grandeur and squinty-eyed existentialist outlook. It's the land the doomed Buddy Holly called home, as well as Ely's compatriots in the Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. With 30-some years between the first and second coming of the Flatlanders, Ely pursued a solo career that was often artistically phenomenal but less so commercially, neatly sidestepping easy categorizing by tapping border radio eclecticism and riding the range from country and Tex-Mex to roots rock, blues, and honky-tonk. Ely's written a lot of great songs over the years: "Up on the Ridge," "Because the Wind," "Cool Rockin' Loretta," "Me and Billy the Kid," and "Letter to Laredo" spring to mind. Many of those will probably surface as Ely appears in a relatively intimate barroom setting, essentially his natural habitat. Percussionist Pat Manske, who has played with the Flatlanders, will accompany Ely. Iron Range bard Paul... More >>>