Essential workers? Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock toiled through the pandemic, 15-hour days on a chain gang run by Lubbock warden Lloyd Maines, to bring Austin and the world these 15 songs in 51 minutes – their first in a dozen years. Fourth full-length since the trio reconvened at the start of this millennium after famously alchemizing in 1972 to produce sessions later titled More a Legend Than a Band, this Treasure of Love more than lives up to said COVID designation: essential. If forced to listen to one sole Flatlanders disc on your ventilator – take only one album to the leper colony of quarantine – this contemporary compendium reaped from across five decades of the Lubbock diaspora constitutes THE ultimate desert isle disc by triumvirate Ely/Gilmore/Hancock.
You would have to look long and hard to find another band whose primary members all have their own names emblazoned on the Walk of Fame. Of course, we are talking Lubbock's West Texas Walk of Fame and the musical trio of Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Their plaques are mixed right in there with Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and Waylon Jennings, amongst dozens of other dust-loving creative types.