Joe Ely Crosses Genres

Joe Ely is another artist whose music I know but not well; I had wanted to see him, either solo or with The Flatlanders, for a while but always had conflicts. I was thrilled when some local solo acoustic shows were announced AND I could get to one of them!

Joe Ely

Joe Ely

I’d been told Joe ‘never disappoints.’ Not only did he not disappoint Sunday night at Bull Run, but he surpassed any expectations I had. 

The stage was set quite minimally for Joe and Jeff Plankenhorn – a couple of chairs, a couple of amps, and a few stringed instruments. They sat, strapped on their guitars, and launched into their first song.

Jeff Plankenhorn

Jeff Plankenhorn

Joe peppered the 90-minute set with jokes (ask him to tell the joke about the duck walking into a bar next time you see him) and stories about his inspiration for writing the songs. One story he told was getting a ride in a semi with a trucker who drove so fast that Joe got out of the truck in the next town he saw. I’m not sure which song came from that experience but I loved the story of the 16-year old Joe hitching from Lubbock to Fort Worth.



His songs were all stories – ‘Suckin’ a Big Bottle of Gin’, ‘West Texas Waltz’, ‘If You Were a Bluebird’, to name a few. I’m looking forward to listening to and learning his songs so next time I can ask for my favorites when Joe asks for requests.

Jeff Plankenhorn is a great foil to Joe. Toward the end of the set, there was one song (possibly ‘Suckin’ a Big Bottle of Gin’) that was requested by someone in the audience that Jeff did not know and Joe said that Jeff had probably never heard. Nonetheless, he watched Joe for a few chords and then got into it as if he’d known the song all his life. That’s talent.

Jeff, listening to Joe telling a story

Jeff, listening to Joe telling a story

As the title of this post suggests, Joe’s style can’t be described with one word. He’s a little bit country, a little bit honky-tonk, a little bit Tex-Mex, and a little bit rock and roll.

I can’t wait to see Joe again!

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on November 18, 2013, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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