Hills and Valleys

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The Texas supergroup of Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock formed in the early 1970s before returning to active duty in 2002. Their fourth album is perhaps their most collaborative and consistent yet, suggesting that this is finally—to reverse the title of the 1990 reissue that helped make the Flatlanders’ reputation—more a band than a legend. Hills and Valleys finds the trio passing the baton among themselves for a set of mostly co-written songs that have sturdy simplicity and earthy soulfulness in common, not to mention the instrumental color added throughout by Joel Jose Guzman’s keening accordion.

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