Sunday, July 02, 2006


(For more photos of this show CLICK HERE)

The Joe Ely/Hundred Year Flood/Jono Manson show at the Santa Fe Brewing Company was loads of fun. It actually seemed like two shows. Ely and Jono played acoustic sets on the outdoor patio stage, while Flood played later indoors. I like both settings.

I've seen Ely backed with a full band, with The Flatlanders, duet gigs backed by the late Jesse Taylor and Dutch flamenco dude Teye. And there was the great SXSW session where he played with Doug Sahm, Ruben Ramos, Rosie Flores, Rick Trevino and others -- a gig that launched "Los Super 7."

But until last night, I'd never seen him play solo acoustic. He pulled it off flawlessly. Well, not exactly flawlessly -- he did blow the lyrics in one verse of Tom Russell's "Gallo de Cielo,." But it was still a powerful version, and it's still the coolest song ever written about cockfighting.

Ely mainly stuck to his better known songs -- "Me and Billy the Kid," "Lord of the Highway," a lot from Letter to Laredo, and of course tunes from the Butch Hancock songbook like "If You Were a Bluebird," "She Never Spoke Spanish to Me," and, as a special treat, the lesser-known sequel "She Finally Spoke Spanish To Me."

The set included a cool little novelty I don't think I've ever heard him do live -- "If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing."
When I saw Terry Allen before Ely went on I asked if he was going to join Joe on stage. "I hope not," he said. He told me there's just one song they both do and they've both forgotten the lyrics.

But sure enough, Ely called him on stage for a duet on that song, Terry's "Gimme a Ride to Heaven Boy." And sure enough, they both did have a little trouble with the words. But it was obvious that the two of them were having a good time and their spirit was contageous. Like I've said before about The Flatlanders, those old Lubbock friends really seem to enjoy each others' company and playing music together.

Hundred Year Flood's set was electrifying. What can I say, I love them more every time I see them.

A lot of the Ely fans left after Joe's set. Their loss. (I joked that the Flood lost the 60-year-old Texans, though they kept this 52-year-old Okie.)

But even though the Brewing Company wasn't as packed as it was last time I saw them (a couple of months back at their CD release party), the band seemed to be even more on fire.

Toward the end of the night the Flood played a Mexican-tinged Tommy Hancock song, "Marfa Lights." During this song Felecia, whose distinctive voice is a wonder anyway, seemed to be channeling Lydia Mendoza. It was amazing. By the end of the tune, I think I was seeing the Marfa Lights!

Jono Manson opened the show. Unfortunately I got there a little late, so I didn't see his entire set. But it was good seeing him. It's been a few years. (Was the last time when we both played at Gregg Turner's wedding?) Jono's been spending a lot of time in Italy in recent years. Last night he did one of my favorite Jono songs -- "Jackie's Dive."

He told me he's got a new CD coming out pretty soon. Watch this blog!

A word for the venue: The Santa Fe Reporter's Joanna Widner this week proclaimed "The Brewing Company is the new Paramount." She's right in that the Brewing Company has become the most likely spot to catch good local and national talent.

But I'll go her one better and give it some historical perspective. The Santa Fe Brewing Company is the best music bar in the Santa Fe area since The Line Camp. Support this place, people!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Hi Steve, thanks for the kind words about the show! I thought Joe was great, have never seen him solo; always enjoy Jono and HYF shall be large one day soon....always good to see you at the SFBC. We have an award winning singer-songwriter from Texas, Beth Wood, playing Tues. at 7 pm, no cover, she' pretty cool, fyi!Thanks, Jeff W.


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