Authentic Texas tunes in Grass Valley |

Authentic Texas tunes in Grass Valley

It took The Flatlanders three decades to release a sequal to their debut album.
Submitted photo to The Union |


Who: The Center for the Arts presents

What: The Flatlanders — Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: The Center for the Arts, 314 W Main St., Grass Valley.

Tickets: $45 Member, $52 General Admission

The Center Box Office - 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op Community Market - 530-272-5333

Tickets online at


Texas music titans The Flatlanders perform in concert at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley on Wednesday.

The fact that Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock — on their first go-round as The Flatlanders in 1972 — were completely rejected by the country music establishment is surprising in retrospect but, ultimately, poetic.

That each went on to have formidable solo careers is a testament to their talent and determination.

Add to this their diverse yet complimentary styles — Joe the street-wise rocker, Jimmie Dale the mystic with the classic country voice and Butch the cerebral folk singer — and you’ve got a story of one of the most extraordinary kinships in American musical history.

It took these Flatlanders a mere three decades to release the sequel to their legendary debut. So the swift arrival of the group’s latest New West album, “Wheels of Fortune” — which comes hard on the heels of 2002’s widely acclaimed “Now Again” — is a delightful and very welcome surprise.

The 14 songs that make up “Wheels Of Fortune” are absolute wonders of songcraft, sung by three of the most authentic voices in music today.

Ely, Gilmore and Hancock initially reunited as The Flatlanders in 1998 to do a one-off recording, at the behest of Robert Redford’s people, for the soundtrack of “The Horse Whisperer.”

It was so much fun, the trio regrouped and cut an entire album.

The result, “Now Again,” was unanimously received as a triumph. Mojo magazine dubbed them a “country Beatles.”

Rolling Stone gave it three and a half stars.

The Washington Post said, “Given the jaw-dropping quality of the disc, three decades almost seems a reasonable wait.”

Billboard raved, “An event record that lives up to all expectations.”

“Now Again” spent 17 weeks at number one on the Americana charts and 21 weeks on the Billboard Country charts.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User