Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Flatlanders | Treasure Of Love

Albums Of The Week: The Flatlanders | Treasure Of Love

The Texas supergroup look back on their first studio album in more than 12 years.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Flatlanders are the iconic Texas trio of Butch Hancock, Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Treasure Of Love is their first album of newly recorded music in more than 12 years.

Completed during COVID-19 lockdowns with the help of longtime friend and collaborator Lloyd Maines, Treasure Of Love finds The Flatlanders in classic form, serving up a rollicking collection of twang-fueled, harmony-laden performances full of wry humor and raw heartbreak. While a few of the songs here are never-before-heard originals, the vast majority of the tracklist consists of vintage tunes the band picked up during their 50-year career, some stretching as far back as the group’s earliest performances in the honky tonks around Lubbock.

“I like to say that this album evolved more than it was recorded,” explains Ely, who hosted the initial recording sessions and worked extensively on the tracks at his Spur Studios in Austin. “We’d been chipping away at these songs for a while without ever really finishing anything, so when lockdown started, it seemed like the perfect time to really focus on it.”

The 15 tracks on Treasure Of Love revisit songs they enjoyed playing from the early days and capturing them for the sheer joy of it. Not realizing at the time that they were actually making a record, the trio worked fast and loose in the studio, laying down raw, playful takes whenever they had free time between sessions or tours. It was only when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Ely, Gilmore, and Hancock to simultaneously clear all of their calendars that the band realized they had an album on their hands and the time to finally complete it.

“A lot of groups our age are either dead or not speaking to each other anymore,” says Gilmore, “but I think part of the reason The Flatlanders are still together is that we’ve all had our own separate careers along the way. We’re all such strange individualists, but we can co-captain this ship together because every time we come back to it, we feel that same magic we felt when we first started playing together.”