The Flatlanders - Live at The One Knite, June 8th, 1972

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The Flatlanders - Live at The One Knite, June 8th, 1972

Lubbock, Texas, schoolmates Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock dissolved The Flatlanders some 15-plus years before most people ever heard their early recordings, which Rounder re-released in 1990. Of course, these artists went on to become living legends of alt.country, both individually and when they re-formed to release Now Again in 2002. Blending traditional Texas country and a unique modern understanding, The Flatlanders weren’t aware of this early live recording until last year. While far from state of the art, we get a glimpse of what was truly lovely about the blend of voices, the amazing musical choices and instrumental interplay that makes the band so great. That fact doesn’t stop the small crowd on this recording from prattling on during the band’s quieter numbers. And you’ll also detect an irritating musical saw that might have sounded appropriate at the time, but I can’t see how. In addition to Hancock’s songs and traditional numbers, the trio covers Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke. Live at The One Knite is only a must-own recording for Flatlanders buffs, but the magical feeling of this late-discovered surprise is definitely worth the time it takes to listen.

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