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Lubbock, Texas in 1973 was a pretty great place and time to chase a life in music, even though hardly anyone realized it back then, least of all Joe Ely.
The Flatlanders, the storied folk trio he’d formed with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, had tried and failed in their quest become Nashville recording artists. In the aftermath, Joe high-tailed it to New York to work on songs and play folk clubs before deciding to join the circus. He hired on with Ringing Brothers and Barnum & Bailey as caretaker for llamas, the World’s Smallest Horse, and two white stallions, Omar and King. When a horse kicked him during a performance and broke three ribs, he came back home to Lubbock.
What was he going to do?
He thought about it awhile and decided he’d be Buddy Holly.
Not literally, although it should be noted that no significant rock and roll performer had emerged from Lubbock since the chart-topping Holly died in a plane crash in 1959. You could say there was a vacuum waiting to be filled.
Joe Ely proceeded to write some new songs, polish some old ones, and cop a few from Butch and Jimmie, put a band together, sell his life insurance policy to buy a PA sound system, strap on a guitar, step out front, and roar.
Tom Gillam's latest release "Beautiful Dream" is about a lot of "things" but mostly it's about beginnings and endings or a Gillam himself says "It's about..40 minute of music".
The beginning would be with his band Tom Gillam & the Kosmic Messengers and the end would be, at least for the foreseeable future, his days as a solo artist .
"There is so much more I can do with this band, than what I'd experienced in the past, recording basically whom ever was around at the time" he quickly injects "though I had a good time and got some great results with those releases, they never felt as cohesive as Beautiful Dream does".
Much of the credit for the "cohesive sound" of the record can be traced to the other members of The Kosmic Messengers with whom Gillam has been playing live shows with for almost two years. "What started out being just a way to play (2013's) "Good For You" live has blossomed in to a full blown band, one in which I feel a musical kinship and freedom I'd sought for so long but never really attained" "David Spencer (Lead & Slide Guitar, vocals) and I really not only "think alike" musically but almost have a weird telepathy when it comes to guitar playing and even writing as well!"
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