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Live Shots

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iTunes Review

Recorded during Joe Ely’s tenure opening for the Clash on their 1980 London Calling tour, Live Shots gives some idea of how much the two bands had in common. At this stage in his career Ely was pursuing a blend of rockabilly, country and American roots music not dissimilar to the music on London Calling. “Fingernails” and “Long Snake Moan” exude an energy that links Ely to the first wave of rock ‘n’ roll performers. Meanwhile a killer rendition of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” rivals the Clash for snarling celebration. Ponty Bone’s accordion embellishes “Honky Tonkin’,” “She Never Spoke Spanish To Me” and “Fools Fall In Love,” bringing some Cajun warmth into the lonely London theater. It couldn’t have been easy for Ely to play his Texas tunes to crowds of impudent punks night after night, but he sings “Midnight Shift” and “Treat Me Like A Saturday Night” in a way that suggests punk and country might just be two side to the same coin.

Customer Reviews

The Real Deal!

Love this recording! Carried it all over Texas on an old cassette rolling down the highway blasting in the old Barracuda! Caught Joe's live show many times and never disappointed! This collection is awesome and it couldn't be found for awhile once I wore out that old cassette. Essential listening for cowboy punk rocking Texas fans! Turn it way up and open all the windows.


Born: February 9, 1947 in Amarillo, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Country-rock singer/songwriter/guitarist Joe Ely was born Earle R. Ely on February 9, 1947, in Amarillo, Texas. His family had worked for the Rock Island Line railroad dating back to the start of the century. When he was 12, the family moved to Lubbock, Texas, where his father ran a used clothing store. Inspired by seeing Jerry Lee Lewis perform when he was a child, Ely aspired to a musical career, and he briefly took violin and steel guitar lessons before turning to the guitar. His father died when...
Full Bio