Hancock formed the Flatlanders, with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Joe Ely, in 1970 and they recorded their first album in 1972. He continues his association with them, but they are anything but prolific in terms of record releases. The group recorded rarely together, but the 2012 release of "The Odessa Tapes," a discovery of 14 songs cut in Odessa, Texas in 1972, prior to their first studio release, helped prove why the band has carried such a reputation through the decades.
Hancock has recorded several solo albums through the years, most considered landmarks. His sound is full for a solo artist, armed with only guitar and harmonica for instruments and a voice that wears the mark of time. His songs are often poignant tales of people living hard lives in hard times on a land that seems forever flat and unforgiving.