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Joe Ely: Satisfied At Last

Rack 'Em Records

There is an art to graceful aging, and some folks do it better than others. Texas singer/songwriter Joe Ely has been making great records since 1970, and with Satisfied At Last he celebrates his musical past while expressing optimism over what the future may hold. A powerful performer, Ely creates a whirlwind of energy with just an acoustic guitar or a full band. Bringing back old friends like David Grissom (who anchored Ely's hard-rocking '80s lineup) on the title track, and flamenco guitarist Teye on the reflective "Not That Much Has Changed," Ely deftly traverses his wide musical path. This time around he sings of long-gone but fondly remembered places and people, tells a few great stories ("Mockingbird Hill"), and lets his pal Butch Hancock write the coda with the deeply moving and reflective "Circumstance." Nobody lives forever, but Ely makes the best of the journey. (5 out of 5 stars)