The Flatlanders

The Odessa Tapes (New West)

Texas Platters

The Flatlanders

The Odessa Tapes (New West)

More a shelved Jimmie Dale Gilmore album than a long lost Flatlanders' 8-track, The Odessa Tapes reiterates the fact that the all-star West Texan troupe originally formed as a backing band for the golden warbler from Amarillo. Remember that in 1990, when Rounder Records floated More a Legend Than a Band, they had recovered mostly forgotten Nashville sessions from 1972 meant to hock Gilmore as a country singer. While Lubbock compatriots Joe Ely and Butch Hancock lent harmonies, with the exception of the former's co-lead vocals on two tracks, one would never know it from the final product, and The Odessa Tapes unspools no differently. Duplicating nine of the 13 tracks on More a Legend, this shoebox three-track tape also unearths a quartet of tunes unique to Flatlanders' legend: Gilmore's "Number Sixteen" and "Story of You," and Hancock pair "Shadow of the Moon" and "I Think Too Much of You." Lushly strummed and luxurious of melody, opener "I Know You" debuted in 2004 on previous New West archival discovery Live '72, while the gorgeous "Number Sixteen," with its polished pluck and chromium accordion blush, helped distinguish JDG's major label debut, 1991's After Awhile. Both team with Hancock's minor revelation "I Think Too Much of You," a two-step waltz of understated Southwestern romanticism. Odessa's luminous version of Gilmore's "Dallas" – consider its musical saw vibrato the aural equivalent of the 13th Floor Elevators' electric jug whoop – might even be definitive. Evergreens ("Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown"), anthems ("One Road More") – The Odessa Tapes has it all, most tellingly a warmth and intimacy foreign to More a Legend's typically starched Nashville conformity. Accompanied by a half-hour DVD doc and liner notes from the Austin trio's panhandle comrade and Chronicle mystic Michael Ventura, The Odessa Tapes could be more a legend than More a Legend.

****

READ MORE
More the Flatlanders
Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, Jan. 1, 2010

Texas Platters
The Flatlanders
Live Shot

Raoul Hernandez, June 12, 2009

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Cody Jinks, Kim Simpson & Travis Green, Kim Simpson, Travis Green, and Cody Jinks
I'm Not the Devil, Songs & Sightings, A Little Too Late (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Aug. 5, 2016

Texas Platters
Aaron Einhouse
It Ain't Pretty (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 24, 2016

More by Raoul Hernandez
Texas Platters
The Que Pastas
Meet You by the Moon (Record Review)

Aug. 5, 2016

Adult Play: Storm Thorgerson by Steve Miller
Adult Play: Storm Thorgerson by Steve Miller
The joker and the LP art genius, an honest-to-God love story

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

the Flatlanders

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)