Photo: Jay Blakesberg

Today, The Flatlanders, the iconic Texas-based trio of Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore announced their first album of newly recorded music in more than 12 years. Treasure of Love will be released on July 9 via Rack'em Records/Thirty Tigers. The band released the album’s first single “Sittin’ On Top of the World”, which is well known by fans of The Flatlanders to be one of their most notable show closers.
"Sometimes you're sitting on top of the world, the next minute you are face down on the bottom. Just like life. (And the very next minute you are at the top again),” said Butch Hancock about the song. "Because better to sit on top of it. Rather than carry it. It’s a song that once you have it in your head you have to sing it,” added Joe Ely.
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, TX.
“I like to say that this album evolved more than it was recorded,” explains Joe Ely, who hosted the initial recording sessions and worked extensively on the tracks at his Spur Studios in Austin, TX. “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.”
Treasure of Love Tracklist:
01) Moanin’ Of The Midnight Train
02) Long Time Gone
03) Snowin’ On Raton
04) She Smiles Like A River
05) Love Oh Love Please Come Home
06) Give My Love to Rose
07) Treasure of Love
08) Satin Shoes
09) The Ballad of Honest Sam
10) Mama Do the Kangaroo
11) She Belongs to Me
12) I Don’t Blame You
13) Mobile Blues
14) Ramblin’ Man
15) Sittin’ On Top of the World

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