Joe Ely

Joe Ely

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Joe Ely

Img_capt = Joe Ely in concert, 2006
Img_size =
Landscape = no
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = February 9, 1947
Died =
Origin = Lubbock, Texas
Instrument = Guitar
Voice_type =
Genre = Country music
Occupation = Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Years_active = 1970 - present
Label = MCA, Hightone
Associated_acts = The Flatlanders
URL = []
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

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

He has had a genre-crossing career, performing with Bruce Springsteen, Los Super Seven, The Clancy Brothers 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.


Early life and career

Ely spent his formative years from age 12 in Lubbock, Texas.

Shortly after attending Lubbock 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.

olo 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 Juarez in Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Ely would contribute backing vocals on the Clash single "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" from "Combat Rock" (1982), and Ely's "Live Shots" includes photos of Clash member Joe Strummer performing as a guest with Ely's band.

Throughout his career, Ely has issued a steady stream of albums, most on the MCA label. Ely's energetic live performances have become legendary, and he has released a live album roughly every ten years (the last was "LIVE Cactus" in 2008).

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 are working on a new album as well.


* "Joe Ely", 1977, MCA
* "Honky Tonk Masquerade", 1978, MCA
* "Down On The Drag", 1979, MCA
* "Live Shots", 1980, MCA (credited to The Joe Ely Band):* "Texas Special" (4-song studio EP included with the original "Live Shots" LP)
* "Musta Notta Gotta Lotta", 1981, MCA
* "Hi-Res", 1984, MCA
* "Lord Of The Highway", 1987, Hightone Records
* "Dig All Night", 1988, Hightone Records
* "Milkshakes And Malts", 1988, Sunstorm Records
* "What Ever Happened To Maria", 1988, Sunstorm Records
* "Live At Liberty Lunch", 1990, MCA
* "Love And Danger", 1993, MCA
* "Chippy", 1995, Hollywood Records
* "Letter To Laredo", 1995, MCA
* "Live at Cambridge", 1998, Strange Fruit Records
* "Twistin' In The Wind", 1998, MCA
* "Los Super Seven", (as band member) 1999, RCA Nashville
* "Live At Antones", 2000, Antones Records
* "Now Again" (with The Flatlanders), 2002
* "Streets Of Sin", 2003
* "Wheels Of Fortune" (with The Flatlanders), 2004
* "Live 72" (The Flatlanders), 2004
* "Live From Austin" (with The Flatlanders), 2004 (Recorded 2002)
* "I Heard It On The X" (with Los Super Seven), 2005
* "Ten In Texas" (compilation, Sunday Morning Coming Down), 2005, Icehouse Music
* "Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch", 2007, Rack 'Em Records
* "Silver City", 2007, Rack 'Em Records
* "LIVE Cactus!" (with Joel Guzman), 2008, Rack 'Em Records


Album charts

ingles charts

ee also

*The Flatlanders
*Los Super Seven
*Music of Austin


* [ "Son of the Circus"] , "Austin Chronicle", Vol. 18, Issue 5.
* [ "Joe Ely Remembers The Clash"] , "Austin Chronicle", 19 May 2000.

External links

* [] - Official home page
* [ Joe Ely] feature and CD reviews] at [ Country Standard Time]

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