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Now AgainArtist: Flatlanders
1. Going Away
3. Wavin' My Heart Goodbye
4. Down in the Light of the Melon Moon
5. Right Where I Belong
6. My Wildest Dreams Grow Wilder Every Day
7. I Thought the Wreck Was Over
8. Yesterday Was Judgement Day
9. Now It's Now Again
10. All You Are Love
11. You Make It Look Easy
12. Pay the Alligator
13. Down on Filbert's Rise
14. South Wind of Summer
As solo musicians, Lubbock, Texas-based singer-songwriters Butch Hancock, JoeEly and Jimmie Dale Gilmore gained international success, yet as the Flatlanders,a twangy alternative to the corporate country mainstream, they were little-knownoutside the vaunted ranks of "musician's musicians." Posthumously,the band had a far-reaching effect-the Clash and Uncle Tupelo clearly adoredthe Flatlanders (listen to "Dallas" or "Tonight I Think I'mGonna Go Downtown" for proof)-but isolated in mid-1970s west Texas,the uber-group broke up, unable to win over local fans.
It's a real treat, then, to see the Flatlanders regroup for Now Again in2002. Older and wiser, the trio performs with just the right amount of world-wearieddespair and self-parodying cowboy lament. A crackerjack percussion team (includingSteve Wesson, who played saw with the original band) round out the sound; withbanjo, drums, and accordion, they come off like an alt-country version of DougSahm's Texas Tornados.
Standouts include the Hancock-penned "Julia," the Texas swing-basedsing-along "Right Where I Belong," and the darkly comic "I Thoughtthe Wreck Was Over." Don't miss the country-rockin' "My WildestDreams Grow Wilder Every Day"-bursting with rollicking guitar riffs,the song bounces and sways like a long-lost Lefty Frizzell number. "You makeit look easy," Ely drawls on Now Again's eleventh track, andsuddenly all the poetry is stripped away. Musically, they "make it look easy,"cutting to the heart of the matter with notes as blunt and direct as the Lubbocklandscape. Hats off to the Flatlanders-the view never sounded so good.