Album Premiere: Wharfer, ‘Broken Land: Songs Of The Flatlanders’

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 01.30.15 in News

The Flatlanders — the early ’70s country trio of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, are one of music’s great, overlooked outfits. Though all three of its members would go on to critical acclaim, the music they made together as the Flatlanders went unheralded during the band’s lifespan, only finding its audience decades later with the rise of alt-country. Brooklyn singer/songwriter Kyle Wall — who records as Wharfer — is among the band’s advocates, and he’s turned his love of the Flatlanders into a six-song EP consisting of covers of their songs. Wall does them proud; the songs are handled tenderly, Wall’s rich, warm voice ladled slowly over gentle acoustic guitar. His take on “Dallas,” arguably the Flatlanders’ best-known song, is particularly stirring, turning the jubilant boot-stomper into something like a cowboy’s lullaby. The entire EP is a loving, immaculately-executed tribute to country music’s lost heroes.