All That You Need

Album: Streets of Sin (2003)

Songfacts®:

  • Joe Ely tends to write direct, honest songs with a strong sense of narrative. "All That You Need" adds a light political element to his usual formula. Ely explained to Barnes and Noble that "the whole song is something I've been wanting to write for a long time, because I've seen it happen in my immediate family."

    It describes the loss of a generational family farm, as narrated by the youngest son in the family. The story was based on an actual farm owned by Ely's uncle that was taken over by corporate agriculture.
  • Streets of Sin was Ely's first new material in six years when it released. Flavored with his usual brand of country-twang, he described it as "I don't have any idea if it's gonna get any airplay, but I feel I've done my job. I hope I caught a little of what's going on out there in the world from an everyday-man point of view."
  • Ely performed the song for Willie Nelson's "Farm Aid," an annual benefit concert held since 1985 to assist family-owned farms.

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