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Don't Look for a Heartache

Don't Look for a Heartache

5.0 1
by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
A 15-song compilation of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's first two solo albums for the Hightone label, Don't Look for a Heartache finds the Texan singer-songwriter at an early but fairly formed stage of his singular sensibility. Six of the tracks were produced by Gilmore's Flatlanders running buddy Joe Ely; the other


A 15-song compilation of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's first two solo albums for the Hightone label, Don't Look for a Heartache finds the Texan singer-songwriter at an early but fairly formed stage of his singular sensibility. Six of the tracks were produced by Gilmore's Flatlanders running buddy Joe Ely; the other eight were co-produced by Bruce Bromberg and Lloyd Maines in Nashville with some stellar session players on board (including Harold Bradley on guitar and bass, David Briggs on keyboards, and Maines himself on steel guitar). No matter the locale or the array of instrumentalists on hand, Gilmore's music remains unabashedly and unapologetically his own, replete with deep roots in traditional folk and country; feathery, buoyant melodies rich in unusual twists; and that quavering, dramatic tenor laying on so much depth in subtextual insinuation. Those familiar with the Flatlanders' eerie take on Gilmore's classic "Dallas" will find it rendered here in less sinister fashion, with a western swing lope and a jaunty vocal that fairly mocks the town with "a death wish in her eye." A gentle swing, swirling pedal steel, electric guitar lines, and a bluesy vocal elevate Ely's "Honky Tonk Masquerade" into an edgy heartbreaker suitable for the hardwood floor, which is itself the subject of the Gilmore–Butch Hancock treatise, "The Hardwood Floor," a shuffling, aching honky-tonk classic reflecting on the enduring pain of a breakup. Tortured and keening, Gilmore's voice delivers more deep, mournful feeling than a man should be allowed in "Deep Eddy Blues," a mid-tempo weeper supported by Tommy Williams's fiddle and David Briggs's keyboard fills. A previously unissued version of Hancock's "Ramblin' Man" is a steady-rolling homage to the footloose life. Don't Look for a Heartache offers a compelling portrait foreshadowing further greatness.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Early in his career, Jimmie Dale Gilmore seemed to have a hard time deciding if he wanted to be a honky tonk man or a songwriting Zen Cowboy, and while most of his best albums (most notably the lovely After Awhile) have landed solidly in the latter category, his first two solo records made it clear he knew how to make with the West Texas dancehall sound when he needed to, and could do it up right. Don't Look for a Heartache was compiled from 1988's Fair and Square and 1989's Jimmie Dale Gilmore, both recorded for Hightone at the dawn of Gilmore's solo career when he was using his elliptical lyrical style and trademark wavering tenor in the service of neo-traditional Texas country sounds. While this set doesn't do much to improve on Gilmore's fine self-titled album, it is a more consistent and compelling listen than Fair and Square, and the folks who compiled this disc have managed to harvest most of the best moments from each album and assemble them in a form that serves the material well. (The remastering sounds swell, too, and an unreleased track from the Jimmie Dale Gilmore sessions has been added for good measure; "Rambling Man" falls well short of life-altering, but it's good swinging fun, with solid steel and fiddle work.) While completists and serious fans will want the two original albums, dabblers curious about Gilmore's early releases will be well served with Don't Look for a Heartache, which manages to be contemplative and good fun at the same time.

Product Details

Release Date:
Hightone Records


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jimmie Dale Gilmore   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Walter Hyatt   Background Vocals
Joe Ely   Background Vocals
Mitch Watkins   Bass,Guitar
Paul Glasse   Mandolin
David Halley   Guitar
Harold Bradley   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar
Augie Brown   Background Vocals
John Inmon   Guitar
Freddie "Steady" Krc   Drums,Background Vocals
Jerry Kroon   Drums
Lloyd Maines   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Background Vocals
Larry Paxton   Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Dale Sellers   Electric Guitar
Linda Shaw   Bass
Wes Starr   Drums
Tommy Williams   Fiddle
David Briggs   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Jimmie Dale Gilmore   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Butch Hancock   Composer
Joe Ely   Composer,Producer
David Halley   Composer
Harold Bradley   Tic Tac
Bruce Bromberg   Producer
Little Johnny Fader   Engineer
Lloyd Maines   Producer
Scott Newton   Cover Photo
James Tuttle   Engineer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Dick Reeves   Art Direction
Bill Harris Quintet   Engineer
Joe Matza   Art Direction
Bob Patterson   Liner Notes
Buck Peddy   Composer

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.