Joe Ely Announces New Album With Bruce Springsteen Collaboration


Joe Ely Announces New Album With Bruce Springsteen Collaboration

(MPG) GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Joe Ely has announced his new album Driven to Drive, due out August 2 via Rack 'Em Records / Thirty Tigers. With twenty-three albums and several million miles under the West Texas native's belt, Driven to Drive is Ely's first road album, featuring a collection of songs inspired by his travels from different eras of his illustrious career which spans five decades. Along with the announcement, he has shared the official video for the album's first single "Odds of the Blues" (feat. Bruce Springsteen). The video was directed by Matthew Eskey and pulls from home video footage shot by Joe Ely, his wife Sharon and their families over the years.

"I got the idea for the song from hanging out at an all night after hours joint on the edge of east Lubbock called TV's... there was always a dice game in the back room, the pool table had a bad lean, and the jukebox mainly played old blues songs," explains Joe Ely about the origins of "Odds of the Blues." "I wrote the song later when I put my studio together in Austin. I asked Bruce recently if he would like to sing with me on this song and he said he'd love to. We've been long lost friends for a long time. One of my memories of us singing together was in Dublin, Ireland when we both got on stage with Jerry Lee Lewis and Shane MacGowan and sang 'Great Balls of Fire.'"

Self-produced by Ely, Driven to Drive stitches together recordings over several decades at Spur Studios, his home recording facility outside of Austin, assisted by musician/neighbors Joel Guzman on accordion, keyboardist Bill Guinn, singer Eddie Beethoven, fiddler Richard Bowden, guitarist Jeff Plankenhorn and engineer Pat Manske who added percussion. Movement in these songs is measured in many ways: cars, sixteen-wheelers, motorcycles, Greyhound buses. There are pedal-to-the-metal anthems ginning down a straight strip of two-lane blacktop; a lazy meander on the Gulf blues highway; a tale of going on the lam on the Interstate; stories of getting from here to there, and songs about going nowhere at all.

Driven to Drive is the follow-up to Ely's critically acclaimed 2022 album Flatland Lullaby, which the Associated Press hailed as a record "for anyone who has ever been a kid." In addition to his revered solo work, he is one-third of the iconic Texas-based trio The Flatlanders along with Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. In 2021, the band released Treasure of Love, their first album in over 12 years that garnered widespread praise from press including Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and The Austin Chronicle, who raved in their five-star review, "Perfect in vision, voice, harmony - not to mention timing - Treasure of Love delivers quintessential Flatlanders."

"I've been traveling all my life in search of whatever I find," says Ely. "Revisiting some of my studio files, I noticed there were a lot of songs I had written on the road about traveling. I had recorded them in my studio every time I got off the road. I compiled a selection of songs like that from different eras. That's Driven to Drive."

Over the course of his long and eclectic career - as a songwriter, performer, collaborator, and author - he has altered and expanded the meaning of Texas music while taking those sounds and this place around the world. Driven to Drive is a reflection of this tireless roadwork, taking stock of the many trails he's blazed.

Driven to Drive Tracklist:
1. Drivin' Man
2. Odds of the Blues (feat. Bruce Springsteen)
3. For Your Love
4. Watchin' Them Semis Roll
5. Didn't We Robbie
6. Nashville Is A Catfish
7. Ride Motorcycle
8. San Antone Brawl
9. Slave to the Western Wind
10. Gulf Coast Blues
11. Driven to Drive
12. Jackhammer Rock

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