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It's official, Ely becomes State Musician

Friday, May 8, 2015 – Joe Ely was formally appointed the Official Texas State Musician for 2016 in a ceremony on Thursday at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Ely is being recognized for his commitment to the arts in Texas.

"I'm humbled to be recognized in this manner by the state of my birth," said Ely, a native Texan born in Amarillo, raised in Lubbock and currently living on his ranch just outside of Austin. "As a songwriter, I've always felt extremely fortunate to have grown up in such an inspirational place with its rich, compelling history and is filled with some of the most fascinating characters in the world."

"Since I first saw Joe Ely perform on Austin City Limits on my local PBS station in Pasadena Texas, I felt like he embodied the Texas spirit of independent musical integrity. He's managed to keep it all these years, and that ain't easy," said Dale Watson, a 2007 honoree. "I'm constantly amazed and appreciative of Joe Ely's talent. He's a perfect ambassador to represent our state."

"I couldn't be happier for Joe," said Billy Joe Shaver, a 2006 recipient. "He's always been one of my heroes and one of the great ones... plus, he plays his ass off."

More news for Joe Ely

CD reviews for Joe Ely

The Lubbock Tapes: Full Circle CD review - The Lubbock Tapes: Full Circle
When you hear some artists' early demos, a phrase that might come to mind is, 'Well, they had great potential.' You won't say that, though, when you hear Joe Ely's demos for his first album, and some songs that later appeared on his third album. No, with "The Lubbock Tapes: Full Circle," you hear an artist that arrived fully formed and in his prime. You can hear Ely's struggle to graduate from talented Texan, to Nashville (star hopeful) with the downhearted »»»
Panhandle Rambler CD review - Panhandle Rambler
Joe Ely shows no signs of slowing down on his ninth release. Writing all but two of the dozen songs over the past three or four years, Ely is at his best here, painting pictures with words of the Texas that he calls home. The title belies the scope of this album, with its contents illustrating a panorama of Texas landscape and citizenry (legal and otherwise), including those from just south of the border as well. Standouts abound: "Four Ol' Brokes," a tale of poker, train yards, »»»
Satisfied At Last CD review - Satisfied At Last
Often, it seems that a veteran singer getting into his or her 60s or 70s will start writing more frequently about life and death. While the results can often be compelling (the best parts of Johnny Cash's "American Recordings" sessions, for example), they can also be plain depressing (the worst parts of "American Recordings"). Then, there's the Joe Ely approach. On his new album, "Satisfied At Last," Ely, 64, says he wants his ashes loaded into some shotgun »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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