Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joe Ely - Me And Billy The Kid (Live)

Cover of the combined release of Joe Ely/Honky...Image via Wikipedia
Joe Ely (born February 9, 1947 in Amarillo, Texas) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist whose music touches on honky-tonk, country and rock and roll.

He has had a genre-crossing career, performing with Bruce Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, Los Super Seven, The Clancy Brothers and James McMurtry in addition to his early work with The Clash and more recent acoustic tours with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, and Guy Clark.

Ely spent his formative years from age 12 in Lubbock, Texas.

Shortly after attending Lubbock High School, in 1970, with fellow Lubbock musicians Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, he formed The Flatlanders. According to Ely, "Jimmie [Gilmore] was like a well of country music. He knew everything about it. And Butch was from the folk world. I was kinda the rock & roll guy, and we almost had a triad. We hit it off and started playing a lot together. That opened up a whole new world I had never known existed."

In 1972, the band released their first and— until 2002's Now Again— only album, but have appeared together on each other's albums. Since the band's initial break-up just after their first album was cut, the three musicians have followed individual paths.

Ely's own first, self titled album, was released in 1977.

The following year, his band played London, where he met punk rock group The Clash. Impressed with each other's performances, the two bands would later tour together, including appearances in Ely's hometown of Lubbock, as well as Laredo and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Ely would contribute backing vocals on the Clash single "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" from Combat Rock (1982), and Ely's Live Shots includes photos of Clash member Joe Strummer performing as a guest with Ely's band.

Throughout his career, Ely has issued a steady stream of albums, most on the MCA label. Ely's energetic live performances have become legendary, and he has released a live album roughly every ten years (the last was LIVE Cactus in 2008).

In the late 1990s Ely was asked to write songs for the soundtrack of Robert Redford's movie The Horse Whisperer, which led to re-forming The Flatlanders with Gilmore and Hancock. A new album from the trio followed in 2002, with a third in 2004.

In February 2007, Ely released Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch on his own label, Rack 'Em Records. Ely said in an interview with Country Standard Time that he thought it would be easier to release the material on his own label instead of dealing with a regular record label and their release cycles. A book of Ely's writings, Bonfire of Roadmaps, was published in early 2007 by the University of Texas Press. In early 2008, Ely released a new live album featuring Joel Guzman on accordion recorded at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, Texas late 2006.

The Flatlanders released their newest album "Hills and Valleys" on March 31, 2009.

Listen to Joe Ely, Me And Billy The Kid:

Well, me and Billy The Kid never got along:
I didn't like the way he cocked his hat and he wore his gun all wrong.

Well, we had the same girlfriend and he never forgot it.
She had a cute little Chihuahua till one day he up and shot it.
He rode the hard country down the New Mexico line.
He had a silver pocket watch that he never did wind.
He crippled a piano player for playin' his favorite song.

Yeah, me and Billy The Kid, we ain't never got along.
Yeah, me and Billy The Kid never got along:
I didn't like the way he buckled his belt and he wore his gun all wrong.

He was bad to the bone, all hopped up on speed.
I would've left him alone if it wasn't for that senorita:
He gave her silver and he paid her hotel bill.
But it was me she loved: she said she always will.
I'd always go see her whenever Billy was gone
Yeah, me and Billy The Kid, we never got along.

Yeah, me and Billy The Kid never got along:
I didn't like the way he buckled his boots an' he wore his gun all wrong.

One day, I said to Billy: "I got this foolproof scheme.
"We'll rob Wells Fargo, it's bustin at the seams."
I admit that I framed him. I don't feel no remorse.
It was just my way of gettin' even with the man who shot my horse.
Yeah, Billy reached for his gun but his gun was on wrong.
Yeah, me and Billy The Kid, we never got along.

Well, me and Billy The Kid never got along:
But I did like the way he swayed in the wind while I played him his favorite song.
Now my baby sings harmony with me, to "La Cucaracha".
She winds her silver pocket watch and pets her new Chihuahua.
I moved into the hotel, I got a room with a shower.
We lay an' listen to that watch tick hour after hour.
Outside, I hear the wind blowin' oh so strong:
Me and Billy The Kid, we never got along!

We never got along

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