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Posted October 1, 2010
Cherry-picked collection of Gilmore's early solo work
Having played in club bands, had his songs recorded by others, and formed the then short-lived Flatlanders, Gilmore came to his first two solo albums (1988's "Fair and Square" and 1989's "Jimmie Dale Gilmore") fully formed. He'd already moved back and forth to Austin twice, been awakened to new songwriting possibilities by the works of Townes Van Zandt, and penned catalog staples like "Dallas." It was with all this experience that Gilmore approached his first opportunities to create records of his own vision. ¶ What's particularly interesting about this early period is how his old-timey tenor and poetic lyrics (and those of Butch Hancock) fit atop fairly straight-ahead West Texas honky-tonk. The same elements would later serve more far-reaching musical experimentations, but on these fifteen tracks - fourteen anthologized from the two debut albums, one previously unreleased - Gilmore and his accompanists kick out some incredibly compelling two-steps. In addition to Gilmore and Hancock's tunes, covers of Mel Tillis' "Honky Tonk Song," Townes Van Zandt's "White Freight Liner Blues," and David Halley's "Rain Just Falls" are superb. ¶ Gilmore die-hards will need the original pair of albums (plus this collection for the previously unissued "Ramblin' Man"). Those looking for some West Texas honky-tonk with lyrics that dig deeper than the typical tear-in-your-beer will be truly amazed by this unusual combination of swinging beats and cosmic-cowboy lyrics. Willie Nelson may still be the spiritual mayor of Austin, but Gilmore's clearly got an executive position in the administration.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.