Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Twistin in the Wind
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Joe Ely remains the cool rockin' king of the great Texas songwriters--matching Guy Clark's eye for detail with Townes Van Zandt's sensitivity and Doug Sahm's love of the big beat. Twistin'--which swings from the sublime ti... more »
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Joe Ely remains the cool rockin' king of the great Texas songwriters--matching Guy Clark's eye for detail with Townes Van Zandt's sensitivity and Doug Sahm's love of the big beat. Twistin'--which swings from the sublime title track and "It's a Little Like Love" to the silly (but sage) "If I Could Teach My Chihuahua to Sing"--is another notch on his well-weathered belt. And Ely (if not his little dog) is singing better than ever to boot. Twistin' also features a virtual who's who of Ely's favorite guitar pickers; including steel-man Lloyd Maines, flamenco whiz Teye, and electric thrashers David Grissom and Jesse Taylor. The legend goes on... --Michael Ruby
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A beatnik cowboy landscape of the mind
R. Hutchinson | a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds | 03/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know what's wrong with the last few reviewers. This is another great Joe Ely album. Joe is the rowdier, scrappier alter ego of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's zen beatnik cowboy, and his persona is fully intact here. Of course he doesn't sound like he did in '78 or '88 now that it's '98. But he is deeper, wiser, funnier, and much better produced. And Lloyd Maines adds tremendously to the sound over the late '80s quartet with David Grissom on guitar, which rocked, but was sonically thin. Top tracks: "Up On the Ridge" (an existentialist showdown), "Queen of Heaven," "Gulf Coast Blues," and the title track. TWISTIN' has lots of humor, right up front on "Nacho Mama" and "Teach My Chihuahua to Sing," and in the attitude of "Roll Again" and "Sister Soak the Beans" as well. Joe keeps remaking songs from DIG ALL NIGHT too (one of his weakest records, in my opinion) -- here we have a superior rendition of "Behind the Bamboo Shade." (LIVE AT LIBERTY LUNCH has the best version of "Me and Billy the Kid," and LOVE AND DANGER has the definitive version of "Settle For Love.")
To my ears, Joe was consistently excellent in the '90s. Listening to this disc again recently (September 2004), I would give it 5 stars. Don't miss it if you're an Ely fan, a Flatlanders fan, or just a fan of great roots music!"
Spicy South Texas Stew
Andy Agree | Omaha, NE | 12/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joe Ely hits his peak with this thoroughly successful album of songs in which his band conjures up every south Texas ghost imaginable. The songs range across working man's despair, homecoming celebration, south-of-the-border romance, fateful battles, gambler's philosophy and barroom humor, written and sung with wit and conviction by Joe. The musical core of Joe's band is Texas blues, but it is transformed into a "border-radio" blend by flamenco guitarist Teye and accordionist Joel Guzman. The effect is to place you squarely in the Texas of the Rio Grande, deep in the Mexican penumbra. Add to this mix the Nashville flourishes of steel guitar and dobro from Lloyd Maines (a sound originally borrowed by Nashville from Texas Swing), and the New Orleans carnival soul from Mitch Watkins' organ and you have an unusually spicy, flavorful stew. To hear an example of how these divergent musical styles can click together at the same time, check out the instrumental conclusion to "I Will Lose My Life" - it's subtle, simple and just perfect. Although the music is the main dish, Joe's lyrics also are superb, and each song tells a story you will want to hear again and again. This is Joe Ely in top form, hitting new heights, and capable of winning new fans."
OK, but far from his best
tinears | Elm Grove, WI United States | 12/27/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The problem with this cd and the last several before it is that the song quality is uneven, at best. A few good ones, and a bunch that are pretty average. Earlier albums by Ely (particularly those from the late 70s and early 80s) were more melodic and had more lyrical hooks (Of course, a lot of the songs on those albums were written by Butch Hancock, so that's not surprising). Still, the performances here are strong and it is obvious a lot of care and pride went into making this cd (like the ones before it). If you like Joe Ely, you may want to give this a try, but if you aren't already a fan, this one is not going to excite you."