The Flatlanders: Treasure of Love album review (Rack’em Records / Thirty Tigers) – Music

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Essential workers? Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock worked hard during the pandemic, 15 hours a day on a chain gang led by Lubbock manager Lloyd Maines, to bring Austin and the world these 15 songs in 51 minutes – their first in a dozen years. Fourth feature film since the trio reunited at the start of this millennium after experiencing famous chemistry in 1972 to produce sessions titled later More a legend than a group, this Love treasure more than up to the said COVID designation: essential. If you have to listen to just one Flatlanders record on your fan – bring just one album to the Quarantine Leper Colony – this contemporary collection gathered through five decades of the Lubbock Diaspora is THE ultimate record. of the deserted islands of the Ely / Gilmore / Hancock triumvirate. Even better, Love treasure unfolds like a live performance, both in set list and in sound. The covers run through the history of the Flatlanders, while details of Maines’ studio – buzzing solos, bloodsteel (his), sparkling acoustics, broad dobro strokes – enliven every note. Gilmore strokes the Everly Brothers station wagon “Long Time Gone”, Hancock crystallizes his Townes Van Zandt flagship element “Snowin ‘on Raton” and Ely puts the copyright on Hancock’s “Ramblin’ Man” forever. Dylan of Gilmore (“She Belongs to Me”), The Lament of a Painful Ernest Tubb Cheater by Ely (“I Don’t Blame You”), and Johnny Cash sung by Hancock (“Give My Love to Rose” ) all land as real and true as a UFO (now UAP) in the Panhandle. Back of three originals Love treasure: Hancock’s combination of “Moanin ‘of the Midnight Train” and bouncy sleeper LP “Mama Does the Kangaroo” and Ely’s companion “Satin Shoes”. The old timeless opens the proceedings alongside a scorching six-string solo from longtime Flatlanders shredder Robbie Gjersoe, while closer “Sittin ‘on Top of the World” revives Bill-exalted 1920s country blues. Monroe and Bob Wills, and famously scolded by Howlin ‘Wolf. And let’s not forget a title gem written by a pair of all-time Texans: George Jones and Jiles Perry Richardson Jr., aka the Big Bopper, who fell with Buddy Holly, Lubbock’s original flatlander. Perfect in vision, voice, harmony – not to mention timing – Love treasure offers Flatlanders par excellence.

*****



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