Sunday, July 12, 2009

Flat-Land poet

Happy birthday to Butch Hancock, who tuns 64 today.

Butch is amongst the best singer-songwriters of our time, and greatly acknowledged as so in his home state of Texas. In my house too.

Butch has been singing his songs for folks since 1968. In 1972 he teamed up with 2 fiends of his, Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, to form a group called "The Flatlanders". Their one album was a critical success but tanked commercially and was soon forgotten, so the three went on to solo careers. Jimmie Dale became known for his haunting voice and great songs, Joe Ely became known as a show-stopping rabble-rouser with great songs. Butch became known as a solid Texas troubadour with great songs...and the guy who gave Jimmie Dale and Joe half of their great songs too!

They all did so well as solo artists, that their "died before it's time" band became a legend. The band with three solid leads and great songs that no one ever heard. They all did so well they got to do what a lot of folks who look back at their past never get to. They got to reform the band. On their own terms. Just for fun and to do when they wanted in between continuing their solo stuff. They got their cake and got to eat it too.

Here's the Flatlanders doing a newer song they all wrote together. I say newer because it sounds like it could've been on any bar jukebox in the late 50's-early 60's helping someone get drunk.

That's Joe Ely on your left, Jimmie Dale Gilmore in the center and our birthday boy Butch Hancock on your right.

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