If you're looking for people who pioneered "alternative country," check out Joe Ely. Long before that phrase existed, Ely created two of the genre's greatest albums. His self-titled 1977 debut and the following year's "Honky Tonk Masquerade" are regarded by some as two of the finest albums of any type ever released. Ely, 50, has now maintained a viable recording career continuously for more than 20 years
Joe Ely was formally appointed the Official Texas State Musician for 2016 in a ceremony at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Ely is being recognized for his commitment to the arts in Texas."I'm humbled to be recognized in this manner by the state of my birth," said Ely, a native Texan born in Amarillo, raised in Lubbock and currently living on his ranch just outside of Austin. "As a songwriter, I've always felt extremely fortunate to have grown up in such an inspirational place with its rich, compelling history and is filled with some of the most fascinating characters in the world." Joe embodies the Texas spirit of independent musical integrity. He's managed to keep it all these years, and that ain't easy," said Dale Watson "I'm constantly amazed and appreciative of Joe Ely's talent." We welcome Joe Ely back to the Cactus! Get your tickets now as this promises to be a sold out show!