Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been writing and playing songs for more than 50 years. His music eludes categorization, blending elements of folk, rock, country, blues and bluegrass.
His recordings have earned three Grammy nominations in both Contemporary Folk and Traditional Folk categories and he was named Country Artist of the Year three years running by Rolling Stone Magazine.
His high and lonesome vocal style, coupled with sometimes mystical and poetic lyrics, has led to musical brandings such as Sagebrush Soul, Zen Country and Western Beat. Along with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, Gilmore’s legendary band The Flatlanders has been credited as fathers of the Alt-country movement.
Born in Amarillo, Gilmore’s musical roots began in Tulia, a small West Texas town where his father played lead guitar in a country band. When Gilmore was in grade school the family moved to Lubbock, known for being the starting point for a surprising number of musicians (including Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, and Gilmore’s long-time friends Butch Hancock, Terry Allen and Joe Ely). Gilmore met Hancock when they were both 12, and they have been friends and frequent musical collaborators ever since.
Gilmore later met Allen, who he says inspired him to write his own songs. His friend Joe Ely introduced him to the music of Townes Van Zandt, and a few years later Gilmore, Ely and Hancock formed the Flatlanders. The group recorded its first album in Nashville in 1972. Defying categorization turns out not to be the way to start out in Nashville, so the album was released only on 8-track and not promoted. The band went their different ways by the end of that year.