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with special guest Joe Pug!


JOE ELY with special guest JOE PUG! $15

March 17, 2013

$15 General Admission and Non-Refundable Tickets are available at by clicking this link below


sings of distance, about rivers and ranches, of smoldering passions and

sad laments, of faraway longing and unrequited love."


else romances the road. Joe Ely lives it. Call him what you want - a

wandering minstrel, gypsy cowboy, visionary song poet, or houserocker on

fire - whatever he is, 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. All part of the relentless quest for

revelation that only a journey can satisfy.


sort of restless yearnings come naturally to a boy from Lubbock, Texas,

where the flat dusty landscape, endless sky and vast horizons have

inspired several generations of young creative types to fill up all that

empty space with music, as Buddy Holly did, as did Waylon Jennings, and

Roy Orbison all the way to the current Lubbock Mob consisting of Ely

and his compadres Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Terry Allen.

Like them, Joe Ely has proved to himself before he proved to a growing

number of faithful that when it comes to the mystical process of

writing, singing, and performing music, there's no pretending or holding

back. Where he comes from, you put your emotions ofn the line each and

every night.


upbringing led Joe Ely to roam the earth and preach the gospel of the

Roadhouse, extolling the virtues of the nowhere-else-but-Texas pressure

cooker enviornment where hard core country and the rawest kind of rock

and roll collide on the dancefloor every Saturday night.


first milestone was a band called the Flatlanders, formed in Lubbock

more than twenty years ago by Ely, Hancock and Gilmore. Their visionary

melding of country, rock, and fold immediately pegged them as three

singer- songwriters who were ahead of their time and way too

experimental for Nashville.


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.


then, 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.


qualities grabbed their attention, Joe Ely remains a Texas origional.

In Austin, where he now lives and works, a body of work that spans

thirteen albums and his willingness to put it all on the line each and

every night have rightfully accorded him status akin to royalty.


no matter how virtuous those qualities and associations seem in

retrospect, and no matter how illustrious his performing and recording

career may be, all the accomplishments and accolades suddenly seem like

mere preludes that have been building up to Letter to Laredo. On this

collections of songs, Joe Ely simply sets out to demonstrate what all

the fuss is about.


sings of distance, about rivers and ranches, of smoldering passions and

sad laments, of faraway longing and unrequited love. He sings of

journeys that take him from the High Plains of West Texas to dark and

mysterious flamenco bars in Spanish Andalusia, where Arab, African, and

European influences commingle. And more than once he can be seen and

heard chasing hearts and souls south across the Rio Grande.


voice is that of a man who speaks fluently the patois of honky tonks

and jook joints, who can hold an audience around a campfire riveted

untill the break of dawn, or inspire a crowd of thousands to kick up

their bootheels in a two-step or a stomp. It's a voice that can converse

with a pistolero as directly as it conveys intimacy to a lover, or

articulates that high lonesome feeling known to everyone who has ever

hurt. So pull up a chair, cut a rug, or hit the highway. Listener's

choice. The songs that Joe Ely sings are the stuff that make anyone's

journey something worth remembering.

It’s been 4 years since Joe Pug quit his day job as a carpenter, but

his remarkable rise in the music world has been driven by the same

hard-worn work ethic. His path has been an unusual one, which has often

challenged the traditional rulebook of the music industry, but even now

as he prepares to release his second album “The Great Despiser”, it has

always been characterized by one prevailing idea: Find a way.

After dropping out of college the day before he was to start his

senior year, he moved to Chicago and picked up the guitar he hadn’t

played since his teenage years. The songs that he wrote would

eventually become the “Nation of Heat EP”, a self-released gem that has

gone on to sell over 20,000 copies. It was in those heady early days

that the idea was born for a unique promotional strategy that would

launch Pug into the national consciousness. In an increasingly

fragmented and disorganized music industry, it was harder and harder for

a new artist to break through the white noise. With no publicist and

no access to radio, Pug decided to recruit his fans to help spread the

word. He took his most popular songs, printed up CDs, and offered to

send them free of charge to anyone who wanted to share his music with

their friends. And share they did. “People requested 2 copies, 5

copies, 10 copies, 20 copies. We’d send them all. We even covered the

postage,” he remembers. The impact was immediate and undeniable.

“Suddenly we’d be rolling into towns that we’d never been before and

there would be crowds there who knew the songs. Our fans essentially

became like a radio station for us, and they still are. ” While

skyrocketing demand eventually forced a switch over to a digital

version, the offer remains to this day at, and has been

downloaded over 30,000 times.

The momentum attracted the attention of Nashville indie label

Lightning Rod Records, who signed Pug and released his full-length debut

“Messenger” in 2010. The album was met with critical acclaim, with

Paste Magazine saying “Unless your surname is Dylan, Waits, Ritter or

Prine, you could face-palm yourself to death trying to pen songs half as

inspired as the 10 tracks on Joe Pug’s debut full-length.” It featured

plenty of the literate acoustic tracks that he was best known for, but

an electric remake of “Speak Plainly Diana”, which was done acoustically

on his first EP, provided some foreshadowing of direction he would

later head. He toured incessantly behind the album, which included

appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and the Newport Folk Fest as well

as tours with Josh Ritter and Levon Helm. A higher profile did nothing

to dull his independent streak, though. He experimented extensively

with ticketing his shows directly with very low service fees, and often

none at all. “Our guiding principle has always been: if we take care of

the fans, they’ll take care of us.”

In 2011 Pug was lured to Austin, Texas by its storied songwriting

tradition. “Chicago is a very difficult place to leave, especially when

it has supported my music to the level that it has. But I found myself

enamored with the contributions that Texas has made to the American

songbook and I had to go see where it was born.” The first album that

he wrote there, ironically, would be recorded in Chicago at Engine

Recording Studio with producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron&

Wine, Califone, etc). In addition to Pug, “The Great Despiser” features

various acclaimed musicians, including Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter,

Langhorne Slim) on piano, organ and marimba, Califone’s Jim Becker on

slide guitar, banjo and violin, as well as backing vocals from The Hold

Steady’s Craig Finn on the album’s title track. “With this album, we

finally created arrangements that can stand shoulder to shoulder with

the lyrics. It was a real privilege to work with musicians who were

able to further the songs’ narratives with their instruments. The songs

were written in the same way but were realized with sharper color.”

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