The Charlotte Checkers is a minor league ice hockey team based out of Charlotte, North Carolina that competes in the American Hockey League's South Division of the Western Conference. Founded in 1990, the team wasoriginallycalled the Capital District Islanders from 1990 to 1993, then the Albany River Rats from 1993 to 2010. An affiliate of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, the Checkers has built a solid reputation for producing players who go on to havesuccessfulcareers in the majors.
Texas-born musician Joe Ely has played with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Lyle Lovett to Uncle Tupelo and the Clash. Ely started his career in the seminal country-folk band The Flatlanders and has since released a string of well-received albums that explore everything from rock to honky-tonk. In his long and varied career, one constant has been the skillful consistency of both his performances and original compositions.