Caption: The Flatlanders, Credit: Courtesy of New West Records
Image by: Courtesy of New West Records  
The Flatlanders 

The Lost Odessa Tapes

From: KUT
Series: Texas Music Matters
Length: 55:51

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The rediscovery of recordings lost for 40 years in West Texas rewrites a chapter in American music history. In this hour long radio special "The Lost Odessa Tapes", we hear --for the first time—a set of songs that may well mark the start of Americana music and the story behind them. The Odessa Tapes represent an important missing link in the evolution from Hank Williams to Wilco. Hosted by David Brown and produced by the award-winning music journalism unit at public radio’s KUT Austin.

Flatlanders1-300dpi_small Jimmie Dale Gilmore.  Butch Hancock.  Joe Ely.  Three of the most respected singer-songwriters in Americana music.
The story of how they joined forces once-upon-a-time in their native Lubbock  is so much the stuff of myth that when their rare first Nashville recording was reissued on Rounder in the early ‘90’s, it was titled “More a Legend than a Band”.  Despite overdubs and other compromises meant to make the record more palatable to ‘70’s country radio, the Flatlanders’ Nashville sessions have long been regarded as a seminal work in the evolution of ‘alternative country’ music.  The recording was a sales flop, but it helped launch the careers of Gilmore, Hancock and Ely—leading the New York Times to brand The Flatlanders a “supergroup in reverse”.
But now that history is being rewritten.
Believed lost for 40 years, an earlier tape of the Flatlanders has been found in a bedroom closet in Lubbock.  Before the Nashville sessions, the Flatlanders recorded 14 songs in a studio outside Odessa, Texas.   To the surprise of virtually everyone, not only is the tape still in pristine physical shape, but the performances themselves are superior to the Nashville sessions, capturing the uncompromising sound and youthful spontaneity of the Flatlanders as they actually were then.  It is a musical time capsule that still sounds vital today.
In this hour long special featuring the recollections and reflections of the Flatlanders plus interviews with Grammy award-winning producer Lloyd Maines and others, we hear the story of the Odessa Tapes: how they were recorded, how they were rediscovered, and how they impact the story of the founding fathers of Americana music.  We also hear music from the tapes themselves—including the original version of the iconic song “Dallas” --- for the first time.

The public radio special "The Lost Odessa Tapes" is hosted by veteran public radio journalist David Brown and produced by the award-winning music journalism unit at public radio’s KUT in Austin, TX.

"The Odessa Tapes" - a 14 song CD -  will be released by New West Records on August 28th.  There will be special collectors editions with rare photographs and commentary plus limited edition vinyl.

Piece Description

Jimmie Dale Gilmore.  Butch Hancock.  Joe Ely.  Three of the most respected singer-songwriters in Americana music.
The story of how they joined forces once-upon-a-time in their native Lubbock  is so much the stuff of myth that when their rare first Nashville recording was reissued on Rounder in the early ‘90’s, it was titled “More a Legend than a Band”.  Despite overdubs and other compromises meant to make the record more palatable to ‘70’s country radio, the Flatlanders’ Nashville sessions have long been regarded as a seminal work in the evolution of ‘alternative country’ music.  The recording was a sales flop, but it helped launch the careers of Gilmore, Hancock and Ely—leading the New York Times to brand The Flatlanders a “supergroup in reverse”.
But now that history is being rewritten.
Believed lost for 40 years, an earlier tape of the Flatlanders has been found in a bedroom closet in Lubbock.  Before the Nashville sessions, the Flatlanders recorded 14 songs in a studio outside Odessa, Texas.   To the surprise of virtually everyone, not only is the tape still in pristine physical shape, but the performances themselves are superior to the Nashville sessions, capturing the uncompromising sound and youthful spontaneity of the Flatlanders as they actually were then.  It is a musical time capsule that still sounds vital today.
In this hour long special featuring the recollections and reflections of the Flatlanders plus interviews with Grammy award-winning producer Lloyd Maines and others, we hear the story of the Odessa Tapes: how they were recorded, how they were rediscovered, and how they impact the story of the founding fathers of Americana music.  We also hear music from the tapes themselves—including the original version of the iconic song “Dallas” --- for the first time.

The public radio special "The Lost Odessa Tapes" is hosted by veteran public radio journalist David Brown and produced by the award-winning music journalism unit at public radio’s KUT in Austin, TX.

"The Odessa Tapes" - a 14 song CD -  will be released by New West Records on August 28th.  There will be special collectors editions with rare photographs and commentary plus limited edition vinyl.