Joe Ely

Joe Ely

Live At Antones

Rounder

This is Ely in his element. He may be his own competition. Ely’s earlier Live at Liberty Lunch was one of the best live albums ever done by a Texas musician. This one is even better. His takes on “Me and Billy the Kid,” “The Road Goes on Forever,” and “All Just To Get to You” seem to have even more power and clarity than the previous live versions. Live at Liberty stayed in regular rotation in my car for as long as any recording that I’ve ever owned. I suspect that this one will enjoy a long stint as well. It’s a damn near 70-minute experience. This is certainly one of the best live albums of the year. Ely, along with his longtime compatriots Jesse Taylor and Lloyd Maines, cover a number of his own compositions as well as classics by Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Robert Earl Keen, and Butch Hancock. This is a must-have for any Texas-songwriter fans.

Rounder Records, One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140. http://www.rounder.com, http://www.ely.com

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