On August 28th, the iconic grassroots group the Flatlanders will release The Odessa Tapes on New West Records. The collection of 14 tracks, four of which are previously unreleased, were originally recorded in 1972 in Odessa, Texas, and thought lost for 40 years.
“The fact that these recordings found residence in a closet on a side street in Lubbock, Texas, for 35 years is not only unbelievable but is highly unlikely,” member Joe Ely tells Rolling Stone. “That The Odessa Tapes survived floods, droughts, dust storms and tornados is nothing short of a miracle.”
One of the tracks recorded back in Odessa was Al Strehli’s “I Know You,” which you can watch the band play live above. Flatlander Butch Hancock points to singer-songwriter Strehli as a notable influence. “Growing up and before the Flatlanders were living together, Al lived in a house between Joe’s and mine,” he explains. “I would pass by his house and stop to listen to his songs and think someday, it would be great to be able to write songs with that kind of visual poetry. Who would have thought that all these years later, I would still be working at it.”
Accompanying The Odessa Tapes is a DVD with interviews with the Flatlanders. The group is planning to support the Tapes with a string of U.S. tour dates in the fall.
“It has been my very great, good fortune to know these guys and to share our music for all these many years,” says member Jimmie Dale Gilmore. “Even after 40 years, getting together, sitting around playing guitars and singing with them feels the same as when we used to share a small house in Lubbock and trade songs back and forth.”