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Joe Ely in Concert at the Odeon Theater
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 • Posted April 22, 2009

Legendary Texas singer/songwriter Joe Ely is taking a break in the middle of his coast to coast tour with the The Flatlanders to perform in Mason at the Odeon Theater. Ely will perform one night May 9 at 7:00 p.m. Reservations are $20 per person. Advance reservation are strongly encouraged because a sellout is expected.

Joe Ely needs no introduction—just a reminder of where he’s been and the impact he has made on Texas music. A wandering minstrel, gypsy cowboy, visionary song poet, or houserocker on fire - whatever he is, Joe Ely’s covered a lot of ground in his time. He really has ridden the rails (in a circus train, no less), thumbed his way across the country, hopped boats to exotic foreign lands, and ridden horses across the prairie. Ely’s repertoire is a rich stew of story songs flavored with a blend of rock, country, blues, and Tex-Mex influences. His characters can usually be found in the roadhouses, border towns, and wide-open Texas expanses that Ely obviously knows well. Ely is to Texas what Bruce Springsteen is to New Jersey. He has spent the 20 years since his MCA debut release bringing the high plains and vistas of Texas and the Southwest to life.

The road led back to Lubbock in 1971, where Ely hooked up with two other Hub City songwriting prodigies, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. They formed a short-lived acoustic band, the Flatlanders. The group (which also included saw player Steve Wesson, string bassist Sylvester Rice and mandolinist Tony Pearson) continues to exert an improbable but undeniable hold on the imaginations of Texas music fans and singer-songwriter aficionados on both sides of the Atlantic.

Next came the Joe Ely Band, Joe’s own ensemble who once again mixed country and rock elements into something new and completely different, proving to anyone that heard them that an accordion or pedal steel guitar really could pack the same sonic punch as an electric guitar. In England, the Panhandle poets and his pickers were embraced by the Clash, the standard bearers of the nascent punk movement, who might not have shared the same cultural values as the West Texans, but who certainly knew integrity when they heard it.

After their return to the States, they embarked on two years of non-stop touring, opening shows for the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks and still maintaining their own frenetic schedule of honky-tonk one-nighters. The music got hotter, the nights got longer, the shows got more frenzied, and the band played as though the road wouldgo on forever and the party would never end.

From sell out solo performances to duets with Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, the Clash, Linda Ronstadt, Rosie Flores to name but a few and from opening acts to original motion picture soundtrack albums, Joe Ely remains a Texas original. Ely has gained the respect of his friends and his peers, including such kindred spirits as Bruce Springsteen, who contributes vocals on his latest album, along with old friend Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and new friend Raul Malo of the Mavericks.

In addition to recording in his next-door studio, he has also embarked on a second career as a visual artist, and his paintings and prints have been featured in several shows around the country.

Come hear the man and his music. For reservations or additional information call Dennis or Kay Evans at 325 347 6781. Also, check the Odeon Theater website at www.odeontheater.com. Concessions will also be open. No buffet this time. You may bring your favorite beverage. For 81 years the Odeon has provided entertainment to Mason and the surrounding communities. The Odeon Preservation Association Concert Series is a fund raising event to renovate “the Odeon Theater, where there is always a good show and often a great show”. The OPA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Please join us for an exciting evening of musical entertainment.

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