Saturday, June 10, 2006
Joe ElyJoe Ely left West Texas as a teenager in the late sixties and put on miles like a trucker; "followed Woody Guthrie west and the blues guys down south ... was on the West Coast during all the big hippie days." He lived in Europe for a while. Lubbock has that effect on people, generating rebels and making a large mark on the country. Buddy Holly came from there, and Roy Orbison, Bob Wills, Waylon Jennings, the Gatlin Brothers, Mac Davis and Tanya Tucker; Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. And so did Kenny Bernstein, a 330-mph dragster driver, and Raymond Beadle, the first to turn over 300 in a funny car; Joe watched them drag race '55 Chevies by the Hi-D-Ho Drive-In when he was a kid. He came back when it felt the time was right and because "I always knew the best musicians were in Lubbock." He put a band together and within a year had a contract with MCA Records. His discography now lists dozens of albums, with names like Honky Tonk Masquerade, Texas Special, Musta Notta Gotta Lotta, Lord of the Highway, Love and Danger, Twistin' in the Wind and Streets of Sin (Rounder). Ely's latest CD with The Flatlanders is Wheels of Fortune (New West Records).
Joel GuzmánAccordionist Joel Guzmán is a third-generation musician, who was performing with his father's band before he had even started school-"El Pequeño Gigante" ("The Little Giant") they called him back then. These days, Guzmán is an in-demand instrumentalist, singer, producer and innovator, who is known for fusing traditional Mexican music with strains of blues, jazz, rock, country, salsa and other genres. His album Polkas, Gritos y Acordeones (Fox Records), with David Lee Garza, and Sunny Sauceda, took the 2005 Grammy for Best Tejano Album. You can also catch him with Los Super Seven, or with his own band, Aztex, on their album Short Stories (Wea Corp).
The High-FlyersThe High-Flyers have only been together for a year or so, but separately these four have been wowing audiences for longer than they care to admit. After a stretch of jamming in various incarnations, they finally decided to form a band and work together on a steady basis. Now their mixed bag of honky tonk, western swing, classic country and hot jazz is keeping music lovers coming back for more. The High-Flyers are: dobro and steel guitar ace Cindy Cashdollar; fiddle player Elana James, formerly of Hot Club of Cowtown, and now with her own trio called Elana James & the Continental Two; guitarist Redd Volkaert, who isas the Austin Chronicle put it-a Telecaster master who's "all over the guitar like grease on a pork chop"; and Nate Rowe, the newest member of the group, who has also slapped bass with Warren Hood and Hoodlums, and other bands around Austin.
Molly IvinsPerhaps the title of her 1991 best-selling book puts it best: Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? Well, she can and she does. You'd never accuse political journalist Molly Ivins of being shy about speaking her mind. Her shoot-from-the-hip column runs in more than 300 newspapers across the United States, and her freelance work has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, Atlantic, The Nation, The Progressive, Mother Jones and many other publications. Ivins began her journalism career at the Complaint Department of the Houston Chronicle. She did a stint at the Minneapolis Tribune, then returned to Texas as co-editor of The Texas Observer, a magazine devoted to Texas political and social issues. In 1976, she joined the New York Times as a political reporter, but in 1982 it was back to Texas, this time at the Dallas Times Herald. After the newspaper closed, Ivins spent the next nine years with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She became an independent journalist in 2001. She is a three-time a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has won numerous awards, including the Smith Medal from Smith College, the Pringle Prize for Washington Journalism from Columbia University, the Ivan Allen, Jr. Prize for Progress and Service and the 1992 Headliners Award for the best newspaper column in Texas.
Andy SteinAndy Stein (violin, saxophone) collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson. He has appeared on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman, and has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).