The Flatlanders playing a concert in Lubbock, Texas, on June 3rd, 2009
|Origin||Lubbock, Texas, U.S.|
|Genres||Country rock, alternative country|
|Years active||1972–1973, 1998–present|
|Labels||Charly, New West, Plantation, Rounder|
|Members||Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock|
The Flatlanders are a country band from Lubbock, Texas, founded in 1972 by Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock. The group garnered little success during their brief original incarnation from 1972 to 1973, but when the individual members found success in their solo careers, interest in The Flatlanders was rekindled with the band reuniting several times since.
In 1972, Gilmore, Ely, and Hancock, formed The Flatlanders with each contributing vocals, guitar, and songwriting skills. Other key musicians were Steve Wesson on autoharp and musical saw, Tony Pearson on mandolin and backup harmony, Tommy Hancock (no relation to Butch Hancock) on fiddle, and Syl Rice on string bass.
One of the band's first appearance was at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1972, where they were named one of the winners of the inaugural Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Singer/Songwriter Competition.
The band's first recording project was produced in 1972 by Shelby Singleton, the then-owner of Memphis, Tennessee's famed Sun Studios. A promotional single, Gilmore's "Dallas", was a commercial failure, and the planned album, All American Music, was all but scrapped, being released only in a limited run on 8-track tape in order to fulfill contractual obligations.
The Flatlanders performed through 1973 before disbanding. By the end of the decade, however, Gilmore, Ely and Hancock had all found success as solo performers, and rumors of their earlier obscure collaboration began to circulate. In 1991, Rounder Records issued the 1972 sessions as More a Legend Than a Band.
The three musicians continued to reunite for occasional Flatlanders performances. In 1998 they contributed to the soundtrack of The Horse Whisperer, and then in 2002 released their follow-up album, Now Again, on New West Records. In 2004 this was followed with Wheels of Fortune, again on New West. In 2004, New West released Live '72 a live recording of the then-unknown country band performing at the One Knite honky-tonk in Austin, Texas.
In 2009, The Flatlanders released the album, Hills & Valleys. In promotion of the album, the group appeared as musical guests on the Late Show with David Letterman on July 21, 2009, and on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion on April 27, 2013.
In 2012, The Flatlanders released The Odessa Tapes, an album composed of unreleased recordings culled from 1972 recording sessions.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|US Country||US||US Heat||US Indie|
|One More Road||
|More a Legend Than a Band||
|Wheels of Fortune||
|Hills and Valleys||
|The Odessa Tapes||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- The Flatlanders at AllMusic
- "Song Premiere: The Flatlanders, 'Shadow Of The Moon'". America Songwriter. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- The Flatlanders official website
- Lubbock Lights, a 2005 film starring The Flatlanders
- Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalist History from Happenstance and Doug Coppock
- Garelick, Jon (February 20, 2004). "The three troubadours: Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock keep the Flatlanders alive". The Boston Phoenix.
- Riggs, Carolyn Pennypacker (May 30, 2009). "The Flatlanders: Knocks Your Brain Out Of Your Skull". L.A. Record.