Amarillo Music Scene

A Texas Legend Goes Back to His Panhandle Roots

Sep 24, 2015
Eric Frommer / Flickr/ Texas Standard

Texas music legend Joe Ely is going back to his roots—though it might be said he never left them. After some 45 years in the business, the influential singer-songwriter is releasing an ode to his home, reports NPR newsmagazine Texas Standard. The album, entitled Panhandle Rambler, is a paean to Ely’s native home on the South Plains.  Ely was born in Amarillo and raised in Lubbock. The singer hopped trains as a teenager, and says he never really appreciated the Panhandle until he left. But he always came back to the flatlands.

An Amarillo native is the official state musician in 2016.  Joe Ely was one of eight artists appointed by the Texas Legislature according the Amarillo Globe News.  Ely began his musical career in Lubbock.

Ely says he’s humbled, and as a songwriter has always felt extremely fortunate to have grown up in an inspirational place with such a rich, compelling history filled with some of the most fascinating characters in the world.

Ely will serve a one year term.


  It's hard to find a gig unless you're a cover band, but the demand for singer/songwriters is growing in Amarillo.