Joe Ely

Live Chicago 1987 (Rack 'Em)

Texas Platters

Joe Ely

Live Chicago 1987 (Rack 'Em)

Live Shots (1980), Live at Liberty Lunch (1990), Live @ Antone's (2000), Live Cactus! (2008) – Joe Ely's heart beats onstage. Live Chicago 1987 isn't about to break the Austin firebrand's mean streak, either. Precursor to the Lunch gig three years later, Chicago bustles with Ely's second classic lineup (David Grissom, Davis McLarty, Jimmy Pettit) and throws in Stones sideman and fellow Lubbock wildcat Bobby "Brown Sugar" Keyes on saxophone for added licks. On Ely's epic "Letter to L.A.," Keyes blows from "Waiting on a Friend" to "You Can't Always Get What You Want," with Grissom cranking like both Keith and Ronnie. No wonder Springsteen always guests the bandleader onstage whenever he's in Texas; Ely drives a hard bargain. Butch Hancock's swaggering "Lord of the Highway" never sounded so ramrod, after which the 55-minute set floors it. Live @ Antone's closer "Oh Boy!," Buddy Holly's monument to true-hearted flatlanders, here lives and breathes Joe Ely.

***.5

READ MORE
More Joe Ely
Panhandle Rambler
Panhandle Rambler
Out on a walkabout with Joe Ely, official Texas State Musician for 2016

Kevin Curtin, Sept. 18, 2015

Music Gift Guide: Books
Music Gift Guide: Books
Holiday stocking stuffers you won't have to restring

Dec. 5, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
John Wesley Coleman III
Microwave Dreams (Record Review)

Greg Beets, Feb. 10, 2017

Texas Platters
Alyse Black
Alyse Black (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, Feb. 10, 2017

More by Raoul Hernandez
Terry Allen’s Manifest Monographs
Terry Allen’s Manifest Monographs
Lubbock don stages a vintage show for the ages

Jan. 16, 2017

Superjoint Fires Up
Superjoint Fires Up
Pantera frontman knocks the rust off in tour opener

Jan. 13, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Joe Ely

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)