On his most recent release, Panhandle Rambler , Joe Ely is back home, returned to the always dusty, perpetually windy, generally arid, frequently smoldering, and seemingly barren landscape around Lubbock where he grew up and first began playing music. A place that has hosted generations of dry land farmers and wildcatters. It’s where Joe found his calling as a writer and performer. First located that unmistakable voice. Learned to carry himself upright and open, to move with determination.
Panhandle Rambler is one of the most personal albums Joe Ely’s ever made. It brings forth this terrain, the spirited people it produces and that special sense of destiny, be it terrible or glorious, that its very vastness creates. “Wounded Creek” starts the album with what you might call a Western fantasy, except that the “bushes and the brambles,” the traffic light, the stray dog and the cold wind are all completely brought to life.