The Flatlanders

The Flatlanders Artistfacts

  • 1972-
    Jimmie Dale GilmoreVocals, guitar1972-1973; 1978-
    Joe ElyVocals, guitar1972-1973; 1978-
    Butch HancockVocals, guitar1972-1973; 1978-
  • The band stopped playing together in 1973, after a year that saw them release only a single an extremely limited-run 8-track album. They were roused from their decades-plus hibernation by reuniting to record music for the soundtrack of 1998's The Horse Whisperer.
  • Joe Ely sometimes plays a guitar for the band that he bought for $5 in Venice Beach in the early 70's. The instrument in question, a Gibson, was previously the property of a homeless person who offered to sell it to Ely for $10. Desperate to acquire a quality guitar for such a low price, Ely spent the next day begging, collecting change, returning coke bottles - anything to get the money he needed. While he only came up with $5, that ended up being enough. He still tours with the instrument to this day.
  • The band's first recording was an extended jam session in Odessa, Texas. The master copy was lost, presumably forever; the dubbed "Odessa Tapes" became part of the lore that surrounded in the band. However, in 2012, a friend of Joe Ely rediscovered the tapes, and they went on to see a commercial release later that year.
  • Although various studio sessions were released afterward, the band didn't put out an official followup to their 1972 debut, All American Music until 2002's Now and Again.This puts a hefty 29 years between their debut and sophomore album. A third followed only two years later, 2004's Wheels of Fortune.
  • When the band first formed, they never wrote songs together. Joe Ely explained that before Paul McCaurtney and John Lennon came along, this wasn't standard practice. However, all of the music since their late-era reformation has been collaboratively written.


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