The Odessa Tapes

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Joe Ely, were always (and remain) three separate Texas singers and songwriters who just happened to fit in well together. Beginning as roommates in Lubbock in 1970, the three just started doing gigs together as a casual thing, eventually enlisting Tommy Hancock (no relation to Butch) on fiddle, Tony Pearson on mandolin, Sylvester Rice on upright bass, and Steve Wesson on musical saw and autoharp to fill things out. The three did original songs, usually with Gilmore singing lead and Hancock and Ely filling in with background vocals, developing an odd (mostly due to Wesson's eerie saw playing), lonely, and windswept ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Joe Ely, were always (and remain) three separate Texas singers and songwriters who just happened to fit in well together. Beginning as roommates in Lubbock in 1970, the three just started doing gigs together as a casual thing, eventually enlisting Tommy Hancock (no relation to Butch) on fiddle, Tony Pearson on mandolin, Sylvester Rice on upright bass, and Steve Wesson on musical saw and autoharp to fill things out. The three did original songs, usually with Gilmore singing lead and Hancock and Ely filling in with background vocals, developing an odd (mostly due to Wesson's eerie saw playing), lonely, and windswept take on traditional country music. They had done only a handful of gigs in this configuration when they traveled to Odessa, Texas in 1972 to record an album-length demo session in a tiny studio there. Nothing came of the demo tape, and it went home with Rice, who held onto it for some 40 years, although he had pretty much forgotten about it, as had the rest of the group. Two months later the same band configuration recorded a slightly more polished set of mostly the same songs in Nashville, a project that was originally released in 1972 as All American Music on eight-track tape only, which assured the album a commercial failure. The Nashville sessions appeared under different titles over the years, coming out as a vinyl LP in 1980 as One Road More, and appearing on CD in the U.K. on Charly Records in 1989 as More a Legend Than a Band. The Odessa sessions? Everybody had forgotten about them, but here they are, released as The Odessa Tapes some four decades later. They show a band looser and with more spark and energy than the band that played the Nashville sessions two months later. The two recording sessions share ten songs in common, and there are two "new" Hancock songs ("Shadow of the Moon" and "I Think Too Much of You"), two "new" Gilmore songs ("Story of You" and "Number Sixteen"), and no "new" Ely songs (Ely contributed few songs to the early Flatlanders catalog). There is a small handful of tape irregularities, with out-of-phase guitars in places, but overall the Odessa sessions are charming and more lively by degree than the Nashville sessions, although the difference between them is very slight and probably comes down to preference. Either way, The Odessa Tapes is a nice addition to the Flatlanders story, and if it's more of an archival release than a necessary one, it's very listenable and catches an eccentric, odd little band of three fine songwriters doing that thing they did -- and that they still do.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2012
  • Label: New West Records
  • UPC: 607396625925
  • Catalog Number: 6259
  • Sales rank: 69,632

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Know You (2:47)
  2. 2 Number Sixteen (2:40)
  3. 3 Shadow Of The Moon (2:52)
  4. 4 Dallas (3:01)
  5. 5 Down In My Hometown (2:45)
  6. 6 Stars In My Life (3:20)
  7. 7 I Think Too Much Of You (2:12)
  8. 8 Bhagavan Decreed (3:00)
  9. 9 Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown (2:41)
  10. 10 You've Never Seen Me Cry (2:17)
  11. 11 One Road More (2:38)
  12. 12 Story Of You (2:00)
  13. 13 Rose From The Mountain (2:49)
  14. 14 The Heart You Left Behind (2:52)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Tales from West Texas (45:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Flatlanders Primary Artist
Jimmie Dale Gilmore Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Interviewee
Butch Hancock Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Harmony, Interviewee
Joe Ely Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Harmony, Interviewee
Sylvester Rice String Bass
Steve Wesson Autoharp, Saw
Tony Pearson Mandolin, Bass Guitar, Harmony
Technical Credits
Jimmie Dale Gilmore Composer, Liner Notes
Butch Hancock Composer
Joe Ely Liner Notes
Roy Robinson Composer
Angela Strehli Composer
Ed Vizard Composer
Al Strehli Composer
Michael Ventura Liner Notes
Gary Briggs Video Producer
George Fontaine Video Producer
Paul Moore Art Direction
Michael Ruthig Executive Producer, Video Producer
Justin Barclay Video Editor
John Reed Composer
Jim Wilson Mastering
Matt Godwin Camera Operator
Will Rimmer Camera Operator
Andy Langer Interviewer
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