Jul 7, 2013
Story by MIKE SEELY, Minneapolis MN
Don't judge Texas by Gerorge Bush, Rick Perry, the Enron swindlers, the heat, the sprawl, big oil, big hair, the Cowboys,cowboy steaks, SMU's coke habit, Roger Clemens' steroids, or J.R. Ewing's drunken philandering. Judge it by Joe Ely and guys like him, including the likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Earle Keen, Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and James McMurtry. These guys epitomize what they call Texas music, a mashup of boogie-woogie, straight forward rock, folk, country and south-of-the-border sounds. Beyond their music, these guys can outdrink you, outthink you, kick your ass in your driveway, kill your calf for supper, and steal your girlfriend with a midnight serenade. Guys like this give Texas its swagger, and will charm you against your better instincts. So don't even try to resist Ely, who's among the more accomplished troubadours in this flock.