Sorry, but this is all just a formality for you, right? You don't actually need to be told why you should go hear Joe Ely perform? You do live in Texas, don't you? Because even if you just got here yesterday, well, even you ought to know. There's no excuse for not knowing. He's as iconic as they come, as much a part of the landscape as springtime lightning and roadside bluebonnets and as much a part of the sound as thunderclaps and cicadas. He's been here his whole life, a born-and-bred Flatlander who played in his first band in 1961, introduced Buddy Holly to Joe Strummer damn near and was a legend before he was even famous. Man's never put out a bad record, except maybe 1984's Nuevo-wavo Hi-Res, and, hell, even that had "Letter to Laredo," which is as essential to the Ely songbook as "Me & Billy the Kid" or "Musta Notta Gotta Lotta" or "Honky Tonk Masquerade." He's got a couple of new records out too, and they're good ones: Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch and Silver City. Got a book out even, a diary penned like a poem called Bonfire of Roadmaps, which is why he's stopping by a Borders in Dallas (the Preston Royal outpost at noon, 214-363-1977) and another in Fort Worth (817-737-0444) at 5 p.m. on Saturday: to sing a few and to sign a few. And drink a few, maybe.
Sat., April 14, 5 p.m.