Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch (Rack 'Em, 2007)
Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh
Elsewhere, one called "So You Wanna Be Rich" questions our modern day quest for bling-bling with a snarl. Over blues guitar and soul horns Ely asks: "So you wanna be rich/Like the gangsters on MTV/Like the ones who run the lottery." Gratuitous wealth never sounded so unappealing, especially in light of New Orleans' recent suffering.
Overriding lyrical darkness makes the light Cajun gem, "Little Blossom," stand out all the more brightly. Although also set "down in New Orleans," it is a song of hope; blooming flowers represent new life. Throughout this collection, Ely sings these passionate songs with all the gusto they require. Although it is rarely happy, Ely's new music nonetheless offers comfort and hope for hurting ones.
CDs by Joe Ely
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