New Music: Joe Ely’s Panhandle Rambler

Joe Ely. Photo by Will Van Overbeek.

Joe Ely. Photo by Will Van Overbeek.

by: Thomas D. Mooney

Joe Ely has announced that his 14th official solo studio album, Panhandle Rambler, will be released on September 18. It’s his first batch of new studio material since 2011’s Satisfied at Last. 

The 12-track Panhandle Rambler finds Ely exploring West Texas with dark, sparse, and desolate Southwestern textures and bleak, sincere, and dusty storytelling. For the majority of Rambler, we find Ely playing the lonesome, experienced drifter retelling his Dust Bowl ballads and train songs through a Southern Gothic and spaghetti western sepia-toned lens.

He’s accompanied by many familiar faces on the album. The cast of Davis McLarty, Pat Manske, Glen Fukunaga, Lloyd Maines, Joel Guzman, Teye Winjnterp, Jeff Plankenhorn, Gary Nicholson, Warren Hood and others help paint Ely’s images of the Panhandle.

Photo Aug 12, 11 10 56 AMPanhandle Rambler caps off a busy last few years. It follows last year’s B484–essentially a re-release–or more accurately, a precursor–of his album Hi-Res, which wasn’t ever officially released in the U.S. This time last year, he released the novel Reverb: An OdysseyThis year, Ely was recognized by the Texas Legislature as the Official 2016 Texas State Musician. Past recipients have included Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Dale Watson, and Billy Joe Shaver. Additionally the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame recently announced Ely will be inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Listen to last year’s unearthed duet between Ely and Linda Ronstadt of the R.C. Banks-penned song “Where Is My Love.”

Listen to the rich Spanish noir ballad “Wounded Creek” from Panhandle Rambler below.

Panhandle Rambler Tracklist

01. Wounded Creek
02. Magdalene
03. Coyotes Are Howlin’
04. Where the Nights Are Cold
05. Early in the Morning
06. Southern Eyes
07. Four Ol’ Brokes
08. Wondering Where
09. Burden of Your Load
10. Here’s to the Weary
11. Cold Black Hammer
12. You Saved Me


One response to “New Music: Joe Ely’s Panhandle Rambler

  1. Pingback: Mid-Year Record Report: Panhandle Music 2015 | New Slang·

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