A couple nights ago a friend invited me to see Joe Ely in concert. I’ve got to admit that while the name rang a bell, I couldn’t name any of his songs. But my friend hasn’t steered me wrong yet and promised a good show. After all this is what friend do.
A couple minutes on Google and it’s plan to see that Joe Ely has been a root source of a lot of great country, honky-tonk, rockabilly music. Not only that but he’s earned the respect of a wide range of musicians. To include all those that he’s played with would look like I was stacking word count for the blog. So what cinched the deal for me was seeing that he’s often pictured wearing a bolo tie, so with that biased background I headed out to the show.
I was not disappointed. I was blown away. Just Joe and a side man, Jeff Plankenhorn, had the club stomping. If you’ve never seen Joe be sure and put him on your bucket list. Between the songs Joe wove the threads of stories and source for his songs making for a very fine evening of music and entertainment.
In the days afterward I was digging around for some more background on Joe and was rather surprised to find out that Joe Ely had sang back up on The Clashes, Should I Stay or Should I Go. Evidently Joe Strummer of The Clash had brought the band to see a Joe Ely show in the late seventies and the two bands really hit it off. Eventually Joe Ely’s band was opening for The Clash. Maybe after seeing all the other artists he’s played with should have prepared me, but the Texas/London connection seemed a bit of a stretch until I did my research. Joe E & Joe S share(d) a common passion for living life to it’s fullest.
Readers of Boloties.com will recall an earlier post with images of Joe Strummer with some great bolo ties. Ever since posting those I’d always puzzled over how a rocker from London had gotten into wearing bolo ties. To find one picture of a musician wearing a bolo tie is not unusual, but it was plain to see that Joe Strummer had a pretty good collection. So now I find myself eagerly awaiting the next time Joe Ely comes nearby so that I can not only see a great show, but to hang out by the stage door afterwards like a starstruck groupie to find out if Joe Ely was the person who got Joe Strummer hooked on bolo ties.