Flatlanders | Mayne Stage | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sat., April 6, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $40
In the early 70s, Texas roots greats Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore kick-started their careers together as the Flatlanders, releasing a lone album in 1972 (on eight-track tape only) before establishing themselves as beloved solo artists. They reunited in the late 90s, in fits and starts at first, and now they’re a regular band with three more studio albums under their collective belt. The Flatlanders have been back together for a dozen times as long as they existed in the first place, but those early days were when their legend took shape—and that legend got another boost last year when a collection of long-lost prealbum demos from ’72 was released as The Odessa Tapes (New West). Most of the songs ended up on the album, but these beautifully recorded demos also include four staples from the group’s live sets that didn’t appear on that initial release. Gilmore’s translucent warble sounds even better here than on the debut album—the demo version of his song “Dallas” is a real goose-bump moment. Back then he sang all the songs, even though every member wrote material; these days the three of them take turns at the mike, but the cosmic, romantic spirit of the Flatlanders hasn’t changed much. —Peter Margasak



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