View the original review at: http://www.countryweekly.com/reviews/satisfied-last-joe-ely
Newcomers to Joe Ely’s music might tell you he sounds like Bruce Springsteen, and that’d be an understandable misunderstanding—you’ll hear sober, sandpapery vocals, stories of truth-seeking ramblers and artistic sensitivity overlaid with a crusty roots-rock edge.
Springsteen himself, however, is a Joe Ely fan from way back whose music more closely resembles the Austin-based musician’s work with each album. But while Springsteen’s recordings chronicle his gradual mellowing process, Ely’s serve as chapters of the same Texas alt-country book—a book he helped write.
On Satisfied at Last, he assembles a who’s who of his musical associates and delivers a collection of songs that celebrate upper-middle age and the freedom that time and a heightened perspective can bring. The reggae-tinged “Roll Again” confidently gambles on the possibility of second chances, while the title track ponders the elusive nature of contentment, pitting an emotive Mexican six-string against roaring, rock guitar chords in a perfect microcosm of the signature Ely sound. It’s a formula sure to satisfy any fan—even Bruce.