Joe Ely (born February 9, 1947) is an Austin, Texas, honky-tonk/country musician. Ely, born in Amarillo, spent his formative years from age 12 in Lubbock, Texas. Shortly after high school, in 1970, with fellow Lubbock musicians Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, he formed The Flatlanders. According to Ely, "Jimmie was like a well of country music. He knew everything about it. And Butch was from the folk world. I was kinda the rock & roll guy, and we almost had a triad. We hit it off and started playing a lot together.