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More Info:Newest effort from Texas' most inspirational singer/songwriters, Joey Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock collectively known as The Flatlanders. If you love country pop rock with heart, brains and muscle, you'll dig The Flatlanders.
As solo musicians, Lubbock, Texas-based singer-songwriters Butch Hancock, JoeEly and Jimmie Dale Gilmore gained international success, yet as the Flatlanders,a twangy alternative to the corporate country mainstream, they were little-knownoutside the vaunted ranks of "musician's musicians." Posthumously,the band had a far-reaching effect-the Clash and Uncle Tupelo clearly adoredthe Flatlanders (listen to "Dallas" or "Tonight I Think I'mGonna Go Downtown" for proof)-but isolated in mid-1970s west Texas,the uber-group broke up, unable to win over local fans.
It's a real treat, then, to see the Flatlanders regroup for Now Again in2002. Older and wiser, the trio performs with just the right amount of world-wearieddespair and self-parodying cowboy lament. A crackerjack percussion team (includingSteve Wesson, who played saw with the original band) round out the sound; withbanjo, drums, and accordion, they come off like an alt-country version of DougSahm's Texas Tornados.
Standouts include the Hancock-penned "Julia," the Texas swing-basedsing-along "Right Where I Belong," and the darkly comic "I Thoughtthe Wreck Was Over." Don't miss the country-rockin' "My WildestDreams Grow Wilder Every Day"-bursting with rollicking guitar riffs,the song bounces and sways like a long-lost Lefty Frizzell number. "You makeit look easy," Ely drawls on Now Again's eleventh track, andsuddenly all the poetry is stripped away. Musically, they "make it look easy,"cutting to the heart of the matter with notes as blunt and direct as the Lubbocklandscape. Hats off to the Flatlanders-the view never sounded so good.