Engineer Little Johnny Fader is operating a computer bulletin board system with tour news and notes on Ely and other Austin Texas acts, as well as song lyrics. The number, which must be accessed by computer and modem, is 512-288-4458.
Personnel: Joe Ely (vocals, guitar); David Grissom (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mitch Watkins (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer); Jimmy Pettit (vocals); Bobby Keys (saxophone); Davis McLarty (drums).
Audio Mixers: James Tuttle ; Little Johnny Fader.
Recording information: Spur Studios, Austin, TX.
Photographers: Bill Leissner; Scott Newton.
Unknown Contributor Role: Mitch Watkins.
Arranger: David Grissom.
After being dropped from MCA and knocking around for awhile in the mid-1980s, country maverick Joe Ely returned in 1987 with LORD OF THE HIGHWAY, an album for the Hightone label. Ely had always flaunted the conventions of Nashville, and LORD OF THE HIGHWAY is even edgier and more roots rock-oriented than his earlier material. It's clear the artist had lost none of his spunk.
In addition to sounding energized and vital, Ely also comes through with some fine tunes, including the story-songs "Me and Billy the Kid" and "Letter to L.A.," which recounts Ely's conflicts with the music industry. Beautiful, low-key numbers like "Silver City" are offset by ferocious rockers like "Everyone Got Hammered." With its clear appeal to fans of both roots country and working-class rock, this is an album with staying power.