Joe Ely – Streets Of Sin

First studio outing in six years from recently-rejoined Flatlander

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For his 15th album, Ely took a bunch of human-drama newspaper clippings and decided to weave a short story collection where the protagonists’ defining thread is escape: from the past, present, themselves. And it works a treat. Ely’s twang is the sonic thread binding these lost souls to the earth, while the brawny guitars of longtime cohorts David Grissom and Rob Gjersoe provide unfussy ballast, and fellow Flatlander Butch Hancock gets two writing credits. “A Flood On Our Hands” and “That’s Why I Love You Like I Do” tap into the same classic Ely balladry as 1978’s Honky Tonk Masquerade.

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