The Flatlanders - Hills And Valleys
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Hills And Valleys (New West, 2009)

The Flatlanders

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

When The Flatlanders sing, "We're all just migrants on this Earth" during Homeland Refugee, it's a great equalizing statement. Yes, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, three iconic singer/songwriters that moonlight as The Flatlanders, once again honestly reflect the collective mood of the nation. Homeland Refugee and After the Storm allude to the way such factors as weather events and economic upheaval severely alter the way we live.

There are also straight out love songs, however, including Borderless Love and No Way I'll Never Need You, which contain true, time-tested sentiments, no matter what might be going on in the world.

As with every Flatlanders' project, members often choose songs that play to their unique artistic strengths. Ely's assertive passion is perfect for Cry for Freedom, for instance, while Gilmore is expertly cast as The Lonely Guy during pivotal sections of After the Storm. Additionally, they leave room for clever wordplay, exemplified by the fun Just About Time, also spiced up with lively piano. Like Woody Guthrie, whom they salute by covering Sowing on the Mountain, The Flatlanders once again show off that rare ability to tap into the American psyche during a most difficult time.


CDs by The Flatlanders

The Odessa Tapes, 2012 Hills And Valleys, 2009


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