Tag Archives: 2014

Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Flatlanders to reunite Sept. 20 at The Paramount

12 Sep

    Gilmore1 Hancock,Glasse,Albert,GilmoreCountry singer, songwriter, actor, recording artist and producer Jimmie Dale Gilmore, plans to reunite with the other original band members from Americana roots band, The Flatlanders, including Butch Hancock and Joe Ely.

    The Flatlanders will present a special concert at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Paramount Theater in Austin.

    It’s been nearly 40 years since Gilmore, Hancock and Ely, began jamming with Steve Wesson who played Autoharp and musical saw, Tony Pearson on mandolin and bassist Syl Rice, to become The Flatlanders.

    In 1972 the band made their musical debut at the Kerrville Folk Festival and won the New Folk Singer/Songwriter Competition. That same year, the Armadillo Beer Garden opened in Austin and The Flatlanders performed during its entire first week.

   “There were six of us originally in the Flatlanders, but only three of us continued with musical careers,” Gilmore said.

     In 1974, Hancock and Ely began their solo careers before Gilmore participated in a spiritual group that was learning the art of meditation from Prem Rawat at his headquarters in Denver.

    “I actually first became connected with one of his disciples in Austin. Then I went and lived in New Orleans for a short while before I went to Denver. I went to Denver because there was a large community of people who were studying with him (Rawat) there,” he said.

    “It (Denver) was the place to study and practice meditation with that group. Early in my music career I had studied Eastern Philosophy. I first became interested in it in the ‘60s and from there, that was the spiritual journey that led me to Denver.”

    He left that community in 1980 and returned to Austin. For a long time, he performed often at the Broken Spoke with his band. Success came to Gilmore slowly. He also had a steady gig every Wednesday night at Threadgill’s on South Lamar.

    “That’s where I got to know a lot of Austin musicians,” Gilmore said. “I did it every week and we had different people sit in to play. Just like we did last night; it was a very similar thing. We had a big following. So that’s why this thing at El Mercado is nostalgic.”

    Throughout the 1990s, the original members of The Flatlanders remained the best of friends in Austin, but they seldom performed together.

    Ely enjoyed success in his solo career while Hancock and Gilmore toured together as a duet. Separately, Gilmore and Hancock also headlined their own bands.

     “There’s this intertwining of many people; there’s so much history. I’ve been playing for such a long time and I’ve done a lot of different things,” Gilmore said.

    From January through April of this year, Gilmore teamed up most Monday nights to perform with Christine Albert and David Carroll at El Mercado South in Austin for weekly nostalgic and musical trips down memory lane.

    Newcomers luckily stumbled upon the unofficial Austin venue during the South-by-Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival, (SXSW) March 7-16.

    However, members of the three-piece combo had performed acoustic folk music and familiar ballads every week for a year and a half, billed as “Mystery Monday.” The name stems from their tradition of inviting surprise musical guests to sit in on stage.

    The show during SXSW didn’t disappoint patrons, either new nor regular, while they munched tostada chips dipped in spicy homemade-style salsa, ate their fill of Mexican combination plates, and drank foreign ale fermented south of the border or top shelf margaritas.

    Albert and Carroll regularly perform only two sets on stage every week. Occasionally, guitarist/harmonica player and singer/songwriter Butch Hancock hosts the show with guest appearances that change week-to-week.

   “We had a good thing there every week,” Gilmore said. “It’s been really great – consistently amazing.”

     March 10, the mystery guests included Austin’s acoustic and electric mandolinist/composer Paul Glasse and legendary rockabilly guitarist Bill Kirchen, aka: “the Titan of the Telecaster.” Kirchen served as a member of the musical outlaw group, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen from 1967 through the 1970s.

     Albert closes her show with a moving rendition of the Southern Gospel song, “I’ll Fly Away,” written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley.  She sings it as a tribute to friend and former band mate, the late Austin guitarist, singer and songwriter, Sarah Elizabeth Campbell.

    The duo performed it at their final show together last December just before cancer took Campbell’s life.

     Gilmore and his wife, Janet, used to show up regularly at El Mercado South as fans of the Albert and Campbell show. Often Gilmore sat in to play a few tunes with the two who have been his good friends for years.

     In January, Albert asked Gilmore to join her on stage once a week, to keep the show going at El Mercado South. Their combined circle of friends remained otherwise unbroken and has intertwined with multiple members of local bands.

     Albert used to sing in Gilmore’s band in the 1980s with her husband, Chris Gage, and both toured with him. Later, Albert and Gage also produced albums of their own.

    Gilmore has enjoyed at least two musical careers – one as a member of The Flatlanders in the early 1970s and another as a headliner act from the 1990s through the 2000s.

    The Amarillo native grew up in Lubbock and attended Texas Tech University for a short time. Gilmore has known Hancock since they both attended Atkins Junior High and Monterrey High School together in Lubbock.

    In 1964 Gilmore met guitarist and singer/songwriter Joe Ely who also was born in Amarillo and they share musical connections that cemented their life-long bond.

       “Buddy Holly’s father, L.O., financed a demo recording (tape) for me and so I put a band together. The place we hung out and practiced at, was owned by Tommy Nickel and so was band came to be called the ‘T. Nickel House Band.’ We hung out at T. Nickel’s house, so as a joke we called it that. It sounded like a nightclub or something,” Gilmore said. “Some people thought the name was a drug reference, but it wasn’t.”

      That band never did become famous. The T Nickel House Band included: guitarists Gilmore, Ely, John X. Reed, and Jesse “Guitar” Taylor, as well as drummer T.J. McFarland.

     “John X. Reed and I came to Austin together,” Gilmore said. “We didn’t move here, but we visited and played in town. The very first place John and I ever played together in Austin was at Threadgill’s.”

     Gilmore also played in Angela Strehli’s band, Sunnyland Special, in the late 1960s long before her name became associated with Marcia Ball, Lou Ann Barton, Sue Foley and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Strehli’s Sunnyland Special included Gilmore, Lewis Cowdrey, Taylor and McFarland.

     Opening night Aug. 7, 1970, Gilmore performed with his band, The Hub City Movers, at the Armadillo World Headquarters, once located at 525 and 1/2 Barton Springs Road.  His band had been the last house band to perform during that same summer at The Vulcan Gas Company, then located at 316 Congress Avenue.

    “I was involved in folk music, with folk musicians and rock musicians, and also blues musicians and country musicians. I was connected with so many different groups of people,” Gilmore said.

     Ely and Gilmore have stayed connected throughout the years since meeting in Lubbock.

     “We were actually fans of each other; we used to go hear each other play,” Gilmore said. “We met playing at little dives and coffee houses and boot leg joints in Lubbock. Lubbock was dry, so any place that had any kind of night life was usually illegal.”

    In Lubbock, Gilmore and Ely found a group of creative friends who shared similar interests.

     “He’s (Ely) been one of the treasures of my life,” Gilmore said. “There were plenty of other Bohemian, creative people from Lubbock who kind of banded together in that period.”

     Gilmore and his friends shared common interests including philosophy.

     “For me, philosophy and spirituality have always intermingled. That’s always been part of my deep interests. I was never ever what you might call ‘religious.’”

         Fans in the audience at El Mercado South span years of Gilmore’s, Hancock’s and Albert’s careers.

     “There are so many good friends in my background. The really wonderful thing about this ‘Mystery Monday’ gig is I’ve been able to play with a lot of people that I used to play with regularly. It’s a reunion kind of thing – really beautiful.”

     In the break between the band’s two song sets, two of Gilmore’s friends, a San Francisco-based and country folk duo, known as Wildwood, performed. The duo consists of Desiree Wattis, a Virginia coal miner’s granddaughter, and Avery Hellman, the grand-daughter of the late Warren Hellman, founder of the famous Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival of San Francisco — a festival that drew 650,000 people last year.

    “Warren Hellman and I actually made a record together, but that’s a whole and completely different story in itself,” Gilmore said. “It was a totally unexpected thing that happened. We had become personal friends ten years ago in the course of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. We shared a love of bluegrass and old-time music.”

    Gilmore joined Hellman’s seven-piece old-time music group that called themselves The Wronglers and recorded a 2011 album, “Heirloom Music.” They toured one season all over the country, fulfilling one of Hellman’s life-long dreams during the last year of his life.

    As part of the show March 10, Gilmore performed one of the songs that The Wronglers used to play, a country standard made famous by the Carter Family, “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes.”

    Heidi Clare, the original vocalist/fiddle player for the Wrongler’s. She acted as tour manager for Wildwood all during SXSW and at El Mercado South that Monday night during the girls’ performance.

    “I’ve become acquainted with the whole (Hellman) family and we had done a couple of songs together at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festivals, so that’s how I invited them to the show that night,” Gilmore said.

    Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel also scheduled the Wildwood girls to open their show at the Rattle Inn March 11.

    For three months ever Monday night, several threads of Gilmore’s past often came together at El Mercado South to connect him to multiple people all in one place at the same time.

   Glasse performed on the first album Gilmore ever recorded as a solo artist, “Fair and Square,” released in 1988. A number of local musicians performed on that album produced by Ely and released by High Tone Records. Gilmore enjoyed success with the album’s hit single, “White Freight Liner Blues.”

   Gage toured with Gilmore nationwide beginning in 1993 and continuing throughout the mid-1990s.

   In 1991 Gilmore released “After Awhile” on Nonesuch Records, produced by Stephen Bruton, who had played guitar with Kris Kristofferson and then Bonnie Raitt. Kristofferson recently released Bruton’s “The Road To Austin,” 73-minute documentary, that screened during the SXSW Film Festival March 10. Bruton died in 2009. Gilmore does not appear in Bruton’s documentary because the late musician and filmmaker scheduled filming the same day that Gilmore attended his son Colin’s wedding.

      Emory Gordy, Elvis’ former bass player produced Gilmore’s hit solo album, Spinning Around the Sun, in 1993.  Three years later, Gilmore recorded Braver Newer World, released on the Elektra label and produced by legendary Grammy winner, T Bone Burnett. Gilmore has been nominated three times for Grammys, but has never won.

   “During that time, I got lots and lots of publicity,” Gilmore said. “I also did lots of touring. That was the time in my career that I was the most visible.”

      In 2000, Gilmore released One Endless Night on the Rounder Records label and returned to High Tone Records to release Don’t Look for a Heartache in 2004. He released Come On Back on Rounder Records in 2005.

     Gilmore also appeared as a bit actor in films: The Thing Called Love in 1993 and The Big Lebowski in 1996. He has also appeared on late night television shows hosted by Jay Leno and David Letterman as well as Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.  His song “Brave New World” graces the film soundtrack for 1995’s Kicking and Screaming.

    He enjoyed his regular weekly gig at El Mercado South that ended in April. Now occasionally he will sit in with the band on stage as part of “Mystery Mondays.”

     “It’s different every week. We do a lot of the same songs every week, because they’re the songs that we know, but the sound is different because we have different instrumentation,” Gilmore said. “David (Carroll) contacts the people to play with us and he has a lot of friends and really good taste.”

     Along with their son, Colin, Gilmore and his wife Janet, have two daughters, Elyse Yates and Amanda Garber.  Her husband, Scott Garber, sometimes plays bass with Gilmore. The Gilmores also have several grandchildren who he refers to as “the most important part of our lives.”

     “I’ve enjoyed two basically different personas – one under my name and one under The Flatlanders, but I’ve done a lot of different things with both of those,” Gilmore said.

     “I never have really thought much of career and that kind of stuff. I just do what I like for however long it lasts.”





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Presley sings about ‘Storm and Grace’ at SXSW

16 Mar

Larger than life singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of the legendary Elvis, left her own musical mark March 14 in downtown Austin as part of SXSW at Quantum Collective’s third annual Southwest Invasion.

The event featured 32 artists, including Presley. Acts performed over two days, March 14 and 15, on the rooftop at Whole Foods world headquarters. Presley had performed just two days earlier at another all ages SXSW venue, Old School Bar and Grill, but her fans obviously couldn’t get enough of her.

Throngs of middle-aged women as well as plenty of young millennials of all genders, waited 20 minutes beyond her concert start time as band members worked out some sound issues. Fans took up nearly every square foot of space on Whole Food’s rooftop as both water other drink refreshments ran scarce in the late afternoon heat.

Diminutive in size and stature, Presley’s nearly waist-length red hair blew around her face as she performed in black satin skinny jeans and a matching long-sleeved jacket with red sequined cuffs. She played a tiny silver encrusted tambourine as she sang.

Although it was her first appearance at SXSW, it marked Presley’s last in the U.S. before she heads to Australia as part of her 36-city tour to promote the release of her latest album, “Storm and Grace.” Presley’s first album in seven years also marks a Universal Republic/XIX Recordings debut. Her guitarist and music producer husband, Michael Lockwood, performed alongside Presley with her band.

Presley sounded raw and powerful, singing from her collection of folk, country, and blues songs made popular throughout two decades and three albums released during her singing career. She performed “Storm and Grace,” “Over Me, and “Storm of Nails,” from her latest album.

Following the event, Presley allowed only two brief exclusive interviews: with CBS “Insider” anchors and with this contributing writer for Austin Fusion Magazine on the red carpet.

Presley said her new release has been an easy transition, now that her 5-year-old twins, Harper and Finley, have reached an age that they can travel easily along with her on her tour.

“I jumped off the train and I’ve jumped right back on it,” Presley said. “I just recorded the record (‘Storm and Grace’) and then T Bone (Burnett) got interested and then things got rolling. It really wasn’t planned or timed or not timed to get back on.”

Living in the world as the only child of late rock icon and movie star, Elvis Presley, exposed every minutia of her family’s lives to the public and to the media who have held the microscope close. Personally, however, she admits that the King still lives inside his four grandchildren.

“My son and I think all of us, have his (Elvis’) sense of humor I will say,” Presley said. “All my kids are really intense, but they’re also really sweet. So it is a good mix I would say. I’m their mom and I’m proud, but they all got his (Elvis’) humor, his intensity levels and his sweetness. They got the best of all of us, I think.”

Presley talked about her song writing process and the inspirations for lyrics that have come from living life large and with her extended family. She said that her eldest daughter, 24-year-old Riley Keough, inspired the “you” mentioned in the lyrics of the song “Forgiving” on “Storm and Grace.”

The song’s lyrics suggest Presley once sought a lesson in forgiveness from her equally famous actress daughter: “I want to find in me/that I can still believe/and be forgiving/yes I want to be like you/Can you teach me how to be forgiving…”

Keough, also the daughter of Presley’s first husband, Danny Keough, once modeled for Dolce & Gabbana, appeared on the covers of Vogue magazine, and earned her acting debut in “The Runaways” (2010). That led to a slew of other jobs acting including: “The Good Doctor” (2011), “Jack and Diane” (2012) and Steven Soderberg’s “Magic Mike” (2012).

The song shares the album’s title, “Storm and Grace,” Presley wrote about her 20-year-old son, Ben Keough, who may just be the spitting image of his late grandfather.

“Storm and Grace” song lyrics reveal his maternal ancestor’s contributions to his good looks: “You are the most beautiful man/ that I have ever known/ too much to offer/ and too much held close to the bone…”

A more private member of the Presley family, Ben Keough works as a London musician who may soon release an album himself.

Another song from Presley’s current album, “Over Me,” she admits that she wrote during a different time in her life, years before she shared it with Lockwood and their two children.

“That’s correct,” she said. “I don’t normally say who I write my songs about, but I will say that is correct. Absolutely. It’s not anybody predictable though, not anybody famous. I will say that.”

Her song “Storm and Nails” has the potential to derive universal appeal from fans who may have a tendency to give too much of themselves to others. The daily sacrifices result, as Presley poetically translates, into overwhelming feelings. Through song, she identifies herself as a “nail” being driven by large metaphorical “hammers” in her life.

“There are hammers everywhere, aren’t there? There are hammers every day in our lives, some days more than others,” Presley said. “I think that I wrote that on a particular day when there were an awful lot of them.”

The lyrics begin: “it’s been a long highway/where do I get off and drive away/ I’m looking for a sign that should say/when you’ve had enough, exit this way…” 

Born in 1968, Presley lived on her father’s Graceland estate in Memphis, Tenn., until her parents divorced when she was 4 years old. Afterwards, she split her time between both of her parents’ homes, including the one she shared in L.A. with her mother, Priscilla Presley.

She married four times, first to Keough in 1988; in 1994 they divorced and she married another rock icon, Michael Jackson. They divorced two years later and in 2002 she married actor Nicolas Cage. That marriage ended in divorce only 108 days later.

Presley released her debut album in 2003, “To Whom It May Concern,” which reached No. 5 on Billboard magazine’s top 200 charts. The album went gold in 2005 and in 2007 she released a posthumous duet with her late father for the single, “In the Ghetto.” That song reached No. 1 on iTunes and No. 16 on singles’ charts for Billboard. In 2006, Lisa Marie Presley married Lockwood and the couple currently divides their time living in either of two homes located in both the US and the UK.

At this time in her life, Presley appears finally comfortable in her own skin. She has become the woman, singer-songwriter, mother, and wife that destiny always meant for her to become. The song off the album, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” sounds like a mantra more than a proclamation.

The song’s lyrics ring self-evident: “I’m a bit transgressive and suppressive as well/you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…”

Presley said that her husband has contributed to her personal and very public metamorphosis. His wife’s images dominate Lockwood’s official website.

“Oh Michael has grounded me. He’s been very inspirational,” Presley said. “He’s the boss of the band when we’re working, absolutely. But actually we’re a team. I wouldn’t say that anyone is the boss really. He knows what he’s doing and I sort of know what I’m doing sometimes. When I don’t, he sort of helps me back in the right direction.”

Though they did not write any of the songs on her album together, the two have collaborated during intimate showcase concerts like the one on Whole Foods’ rooftop recently. Lockwood wore a tall black top hat, black pants and a jacket with an Ace of Clubs emblem and played four of his favorite Gretch guitars.

“We just haven’t written together, but he was really behind my collaborating with Richard Hawley and Ed Harcourt. He was kind of championing me from behind, you know?” she said.

Hawley, a former member of the band, Pulp, provides some bluesy harmony vocals on the album and blends well with Lisa Marie Presley’s husky voice. Harcourt helped to write “Weary,” one of the songs for “Storm and Grace.” Sacha Skarbek, whose credits include working with Adele, James Blunt and Lana Del Rey, also collaborated on the album.

Next in her tour, Presley heads for Hornsby, Australia, where she performs March 19-April 3 before embarking for Tokyo, Japan. She returns to the U.S. for a Midwest tour April 29 before heading to the East Coast through June 14 through 22, followed by a few short appearances in Canada to end the month.

She also supports two charities: Presley Place and Presley Charitable Foundation. She also works closely with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, self-described as a mental health “watchdog” organization that fights against crimes against psychiatric patients. She also supports the Dream Factory, created by Avril Mills, former fundraiser and manager for Haven House Children’s Hospice.


Published by Austin Fusion magazine at: http://austinfusionmagazine.com/2014/03/16/lisa-marie-presley-plays-quantum-collectives-southwest-invasion

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