Archive for Joe Ely

Repost: A Lone Star Christmas

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Instead of reinventing the wheel this Christmas, let’s recycle a past post or two. Today, the holidays in the Lone Star State!

Christmas in Texas is pretty much like Christmas in any other place – except most of the time it’s hot, everybody’s playin’ football, people are barbecuing and drinking beer, there’s a lot of country music and blues and rock, and the stuffing has jalapenos in it.  Okay, it’s like no place else.

MP3: “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by the Texas Tornados

MP3: “Merry Christmas From The Family” (live) by Robert Earl Keen

MP3: “Christmas Everyday” by Rosie Flores

MP3: “When It’s Christmas Time In Texas” by George Strait

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Steve Fromholz

MP3: “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy” by Rev. Horton Heat

MP3: Stevie Ray Vaughan Holiday Greeting No. 1

MP3: “Rockin’ Winter Wonderland” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” by Rusty Wier

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Lou Ann Barton

MP3: “Merry Christmas” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Flaco Jimenez & Freddy Fender

MP3: “Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Nothing But A Child” by Steve Earle & Allison Moorer

MP3: “Snow In Austin” by Ellis Paul

MP3: “Sweet Little Baby Boy” by Angela Strehli

MP3: “Winterlude” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Please Come Home For Christmas” by Marcia Ball

MP3: “She’ll Be My Everything For Christmas” by Los Lonely Boys

MP3: Stevie Ray Vaughan Holiday Greeting No. 2 (1989)


Rock Moment: The Day The Music Died

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by 30daysout

Repost: Published in 2009, still of interest today.

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To this day, people still mourn the musical talent who died in a plane crash in the early morning hours of Feb. 3, 1959.  A small airplane, carrying rock stars Buddy Holly, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens, crashed only minutes after taking off from Mason City, Iowa, in a snowstorm.

The three had just played the “Winter Dance Party” and were heading to the next stop in Fargo, North Dakota.  Richardson was 28, Valens was 17, and Holly was only 22 years old.   Richardson, from Beaumont, Texas, was already a proven commodity with not only his own hits, but songs buddyhollyhe wrote – “Running Bear” for Johnny Preston and “White Lightning” for George Jones – becoming hits as well.  Valens influenced such later acts as Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys and was the subject of a 1987 hit movie.

But perhaps the greatest loss was Buddy Holly – he was certainly one of the most original musicians ever, and a monumental talent in rock and roll.  In only two short years he had grown powerful enough to control everything he wrote and recorded and at the time of his death he was planning to produce music for other artists as well as his own.  Holly was the iconic rocker, the first to perform as the leader of his own band and the first to employ the now-standard singer/guitarist/bassist/drummer lineup.

If he had lived, perhaps Holly would have faded away or would have deteriorated like Elvis into a paunchy embarrassment playing Vegas casinos.  But I don’t think so.  You see what Buddy Holly could have been when you look at great artists who have survived and thrived over decades – artists with great integrity like Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

Even though he had a relatively short musical career, and even though he was only 22 years old at the time of his death, and more than 50 years after his plane nosedived into a snowy Iowa cornfield, Buddy Holly remains one of the most important artists ever in rock and roll.

YouTube: Buddy Holly & the Crickets performing “Peggy Sue” in 1957

MP3: “Rave On” by Buddy Holly

MP3: “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets

YouTube: “American Pie” by Don McLean

MP3: “Buddy Holly” by Weezer

YouTube: “Rock Around With Ollie Vee” from The Buddy Holly Story biopic

The Texas 20: Our “official” songs from the Lone Star state

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by 30daysout

Some radio DJs here in Houston had an intriguing bit going a few weeks ago: they wanted listeners to nominate an official state rock song for Texas. Apparently Ohio did that recently, and its official state rock song is now “Hang On Sloopy.” Go figure.

Anyway, listeners of Dean and Rog (on KGLK-FM, “The Eagle”) could choose from a short list of a few songs each from ZZ Top, Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds … and their winner was the Top’s “La Grange.” Official rock song for the entire state of Texas? Hmmm, maybe. To make the song truly official, Dean and Rog now have to get the Texas legislature to buy into that – I’m not sure lawmakers are gonna go for a tune about a whorehouse.

But it got me to thinkin’: Texas is a pretty big place.  Its music encompasses not only rock and roll, but blues, country, Tex-Mex and even a little Cajun from our nice neighbors to the east. Why stop at just one official state rock song? Why not have an entire album of “official” songs for the big ol’ Lone Star state?

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Video of the Week: “Live Forever,” Joe Ely

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 23, 2010 by 30daysout

This week is the beginning of school in most parts of the country – and over the weekend we took my daughter over to Austin where she begins her sophomore year at the University of Texas.

On Saturday night she went to Threadgill’s South to hear the great Joe Ely, who was celebrating the 40th birthday of the Armadillo World Headquarters (where the Threadgill’s restaurant now stands).  Joe played his version of Billy Joe Shaver’s “Live Forever,” and I thought it’s a perfect reflection this week for everyone about to start a new chapter of their lives – “gonna catch tomorrow now.”  Good luck to ya!

Joe Ely official website

Threadgill’s Home Cookin’ World Headquarters

Our Guide to the Essential Texas Party Albums

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by 30daysout

More than once someone has asked, “If I wanted to throw a party at my house and I wanted that Texas sound, what should I play?”  Well if your house is in Buffalo, New York, then you can play the Goo Goo Dolls and probably half the crowd would say “Yeah, that’s Texas.”  Hopefully the other half would correctly recognize the Goo Goos are a local band from Buffalo.

And unfortunately that’s sort of the situation here in Texas.  This state has many transplants who really couldn’t identify a true Texas artist outside the obvious (Willie Nelson, Dixie Chicks).  So I’m stepping up to your service, a native Texan with a working knowledge of our state’s great artists, with a collection of albums made by our native boys and girls.  And true to Texas, you can ask someone else from around here and they’ll come up with a completely different list – and want to kick the ass of the guy who came up with this one.  So let’s party and forget where you got this list:

1. Texas Tornados Live From Austin TX – Recorded for the venerable TV show “Austin City Limits” in 1990, by the supergroup featuring Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender, Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez.  A brilliant gumbo pot of blues, country, Tejano and rock and roll with memory-tugging versions of Fender’s “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” the Sir Douglas Quintet’s “She’s About A Mover” and a rollicking “96 Tears,” this single CD spans the incredible breadth of Texas music.   It’s worth the price of admission just to hear Fender sing “Baby What You Want Me To Do.”  This CD is a party all by itself.

MP3: “Who Were You Thinking Of” (live at Austin City Limits) by the Texas Tornados

2. The “Chirping” Crickets – When four Lubbock boys cut this album way back in 1957, they had no idea how much this music would transform the world.  Songs like “Oh Boy!,” “Not Fade Away” and “That’ll Be The Day” made their writer and singer Buddy Holly a star and the latter would become a hit.  This is the birth of rock and roll as we have come to know it – written and performed by members of a rock band.  In fact, the record caught the ears of four young musicians in Liverpool, and in a few more years the world would change yet again.

MP3: “Oh Boy!” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets

3. Texas Flood – Okay, we can’t get too deep into the list without name checking the late, very great Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He was perhaps no more electrifying than on his 1983 debut.  Texas Flood was instantly a success, and one of the most popular blues albums ever recorded, but Vaughan was more than a mere blues artist.  His technique and ability on the guitar instantly put him toe-to-toe with legends like Hendrix and Clapton – and since his death in 1990 virtually nobody has even come close to Stevie Ray.

MP3: “I’m Cryin'” by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

4. Honeysuckle Rose: Music From The Original Soundtrack Yeah, it’s a soundtrack.  And yeah, it has the dreaded “On The Road Again.”   But it’s prime Willie Nelson, recorded in 1980 live as the movie was being made.  It has the hell-raising energy of Nelson’s best Texas roadhouse shows, as he and his rockin’ band charge through classics like “Whiskey River,” “Bloody Mary Morning” and the whacked-out anthem “Pick Up The Tempo.”  Guest appearances by Texas legends Hank Cochran and Kenneth Threadgill are a bonus, and I swear you won’t even notice the songs featuring better-seen-and-not-heard actresses Amy Irving and Dyan Cannon.

MP3: “Pick Up The Tempo” by Willie Nelson & Family

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Rock Moment: Texas Cosmic Cowboys

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2010 by 30daysout

John Angelle at Threadgill's restaurant, under the big Freddie King painting that once hung in the Armadillo World HQ

It’s been a busy week for us, and we must apologize for not tending the blog recently.  We’ve done a few interviews in advance of South by Southwest, those are coming soon and we have some other cool stuff on the horizon – promise.

Today we want to give you something for the weekend … a little remembrance of the Texas “cosmic cowboy” movement of the 1970s.  The other day we mentioned Shiva’s Headband, the psychedelic country rockers partially responsible for the creation of the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin.   But even before the Armadillo, Texas’ capital city was a mecca for young longhairs who liked country music.

I suppose Michael Murphey coined the phrase “cosmic cowboy” back in 1973, on his album Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir.  He also sort of laid out the blueprint for the movement in “Cosmic Cowboy” from that album … “Lone Star sippin’ and skinny dippin’/and steel guitars and stars.”  You could say a cosmic cowboy was one quarter redneck and three quarters hippie, a guy who’d happily loan you his pickup truck and his wife.

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Seasons Greetings from Texas!

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by 30daysout

Just in time for Christmas, they are tellin’ us that the weather will be in the 70s early this week then it should plunge to about 37 Friday night.  Brrr, right?  Well, down here we think cold weather – and all that “white Christmas” stuff – is overrated.  The other day I had an eggnog with a little jalapeno in it and although it was downright awful, I didn’t mind.  Because this is Texas, you know?

OK,  I was counting the Bowl games comin’ this year and there are a bunch in Texas: the Alamo Bowl (San Antonio), the Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth), the Cotton Bowl (Dallas), the Sun Bowl (El Paso) and the Texas Bowl (Houston).  And don’t forget the University of Texas vs. Alabama in the big Rose Bowl game, way in the future at Jan. 7.  What the hell does this have to do with Christmas?  Nothing – except that at Christmas time, people in Texas are thinkin’ football, not snow.  Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas and find yourself a Bowl game to go to.   And stay away from jalapeno eggnog.  Ho, ho.

MP3: “Mason Dixon’s On The Line,” by Jerry Jeff Walker

MP3: “Winterlude” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Merry Christmas From The Family” (live) by Robert Earl Keen

MP3: “Christmas Everyday” by Rosie Flores

MP3: “When It’s Christmas Time In Texas” by George Strait

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Steve Fromholz

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” by Rusty Wier

MP3: “Pretty Paper” by Gary P. Nunn

MP3: “Nothing But A Child” by Steve Earle & Allison Moorer

MP3: “Snow In Austin” by Ellis Paul

MP3: “Silent Night” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Sweet Little Baby Boy” by Angela Strehli

MP3: “On This Christmas Night” by B. J. Thomas

MP3: “A Special Wish” by B.W. Stevenson

MP3: “Grateful for Christmas” by Hayes Carll

MP3: “Please Come Home For Christmas” by Marcia Ball

MP3: “Feliz Navidad” by Los Lonely Boys

MP3: “Frosty the Snowman” by Freddy Fender & Flaco Jimenez