Satisfied at Last (Rack 'Em)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., June 17, 2011
Joe ElySatisfied at Last (Rack 'Em)
Satisfied at Last is being touted as a milestone in Joe Ely's decade-spanning oeuvre, and there's much to love in the old-dog leather bag of tricks he's carried throughout his travels. Packed with West Texas mythos, Ely's latest revisits the hardscrabble Lubbock poet and his ever romantic muse, the titles alone telling of the journey by a man looking back over his shoulder: "The Highway Is My Home," "Not That Much Has Changed," "You Can Bet I'm Gone." And if Satisfied is indeed that, the next Ely album demands that someone challenge his music to a duel. Assembling stellar accompaniment – guitarist Mitch Watkins and the classic Ely rhythm duo of Davis McLarty and Glenn Fukunaga among them – Satisfied lacks a contemporary six-string firebrand like Ely's late partner in crime Jesse Taylor and a team of young production bucks kicking in the stall all night. There's a younger generation out there ready to discover Joe Ely, and heaven knows they could use him.