* * * "LORD OF THE HIGHWAY." Joe Ely. Hightone. At last the pop music world has caught up with Ely. With Robert Cray, the Georgia Satellites, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan all having chart success, there's finally a place in the mainstream for the kind of roadhouse rock this Texan's been releasing to critical acclaim and consumer apathy for a decade. On his first album since 1984's computer-driven "Hi-Res," Ely's cooked up a tasty rock 'n' roll chili with country flavoring based on much the same recipe as "Let it Bleed"/"Sticky Fingers" Stones. Absent is the Cajun spice of Ely's best albums (1978's "Honky Tonk Masquerade" and 1980's "Musta Notta Gotta Lotta"), but the songwriting (Ely originals plus two from buddy Butch Hancock and one from Eddie Beethoven) and Ely's wily tenor are as strong as ever.