Even without Joe Ely — who will be along in October, with Jerry Jeff Walker at the Arena Theatre — two-thirds of the Flatlanders means two of the greatest songwriters ever to stride the Great High Plains. An evening at the Mucky Duck with the two Lubbock natives means an especially intimate environment to catch every flinch, phrase and nuance. Hancock's songs are as steely as his voice, whether it's the postcard-perfect snapshot of a small-town night out "West Texas Waltz" or the striking, forlorn love song "If You Were a Bluebird." Gilmore, meanwhile, invests songs like "Dallas" and "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown" with a deep spiritualism that matches his otherworldly tenor; his 1993 LP Spinning Around the Sun ("Another Colorado," Hancock's "Just a Wave, Not the Water") created a whole different class of cosmic cowboy and contains one of the most beautiful covers of Hank Williams's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" ever recorded. And we didn't even get to "She Never Spoke Spanish to Me," "My Mind's Got a Mind of Its Own," "Treat Me Like a Saturday Night," "I'm Gonna Love You" or "Fools Fall in Love," but hopefully they will.
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