20 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s ironic that Joe Ely may now be best recognized as a member of the reunited Flatlanders — once so unknown they were called “more a legend than a band” — than for his three decades of solo recordings. This packed Best Of, however, makes the case for Ely as one of the finest artists trading in what was once called “progressive country.” Drawn from two separate stays at MCA, the 20 sharply chosen tracks include a number of classics from the pens of Ely and Flatlander cohorts Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, mixing large doses of rock and folk and sheer Texas poetry. Ely’s admirers have even included the Clash; the versions of “Fingernails” and “Long Snake Moan” featured here were cut on a UK tour he spent opening for the band. A true inheritor of Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, Joe Ely equally deserves hearing.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s ironic that Joe Ely may now be best recognized as a member of the reunited Flatlanders — once so unknown they were called “more a legend than a band” — than for his three decades of solo recordings. This packed Best Of, however, makes the case for Ely as one of the finest artists trading in what was once called “progressive country.” Drawn from two separate stays at MCA, the 20 sharply chosen tracks include a number of classics from the pens of Ely and Flatlander cohorts Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, mixing large doses of rock and folk and sheer Texas poetry. Ely’s admirers have even included the Clash; the versions of “Fingernails” and “Long Snake Moan” featured here were cut on a UK tour he spent opening for the band. A true inheritor of Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, Joe Ely equally deserves hearing.

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