Reverb: An Odyssey

Joe Ely road fiction isn't very fictional at all

Music Gift Guide: Books
Music Gift Guide: Books

Reverb: An Odyssey

by Joe Ely
Lettersat3ampress, 378pp., $19.95

"You can't take them Lubbock boys anywhere." No, as Reverb: An Odyssey makes clear, those Panhandle boys have to take themselves. Like a faux biography read through beer goggles, Joe Ely spins the not-so-tall tale of Earle and his friends in the summer of 1967, a season of delicious highs interrupted by the threat of shipping off to either Vietnam or prison. Over the months, which melt under Ely's ruthless imagery and pace, Earle wanders across the desert and Texas, searching for an end to the turbulence. The pitfalls of the road serve as a foundation for the songwriter he'll one day become, scratching out his verses from the deepest ones. Not to knock Ely's most recent LP, 2011's Satisfied at Last, but the title cut now rings untrue. This tale shudders with more than just an echo of restlessness. As the book's season draws to a close, and with it our window into Earle's, life, that discontent festers along with those whom the Summer of Love chewed up and spat back in the dust.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Joe Ely
Texas Platters
Joe Ely
Full Circle: The Lubbock Tapes (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 24, 2018

Margaret Moser Tribute: Joe Ely
Joe Ely
“She always stirred up whatever trouble there was”

Doug Freeman, June 30, 2017

More Music Reviews
Review: Grandmaster, <i>Grandmaster</i>
Review: Grandmaster, Grandmaster
Funk prog rock supergroup lures listeners through each stage of cosmic cult indoctrination

Miranda Garza, May 24, 2024

Review: Nova, <i>NovApocalypse</i>
Review: Nova, NovApocalypse
Experimental folk-pop player Nova’s sophomore release gets twisted

Laiken Neumann, May 24, 2024

More by Nina Hernandez
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Taking to the skies with iFly's latest immersive VR

March 27, 2019

New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
Puzzling over a variance on Avenue D, and spending the first of the 2018 bond funds

March 15, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Joe Ely, Gift Guide 2014, Lubbock

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle