The Flatlanders: “One Road More”
“More a legend than a band” is still somehow a suitable descriptor for the Flatlanders. That phrase was used as the title for the group’s first official release, which came out in 1990 despite containing songs that were recorded twenty years previous. It seemed for a while that the Flatlanders as a band would remain a ghost, given the individual members’ own respective solo careers.
Yet a cult following kept pulling Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock together like the kind of west Texas crossroads the group was born around. The trio first hosted informal jam sessions out in Lubbock in the early 1970s, swapping songs and stories in equal measure. They recorded a collection of originals and covers that was so different from the prevailing country and folk landscape that it never saw the light of day until the individual artists were well on their way.
It took until 1998 for the band to reform, but since then they’ve released three more records and reignited interest in their back catalog. On August 28, they’ll release The Odessa Tapes, a collection that stems from an even earlier session than the one comprising More A Legend Than A Band. A lot of those early identifiers are there–the vocal and songwriting swapping, their multi-part harmonies, and their love of disparate folk styles.
Given their legendary status, it’s only fitting that KUT had the Flatlanders close out the final day in Studio 1A. Like the band, the studio has housed a lot of different sounds over the years. In fact, the very first 1A performance was by none other than the Flatlanders, closing the circle on a celebratory note. In this final performance, the group played Butch Hancock’s “One Road More,” which is set to appear on The Odessa Tapes. Here, the Flatlanders conjure up a bit of that Texas high plains magic as KUT heads down another road.