The score: “In 1975, the film Heartworn Highways documented the emerging singer-songwriter scene in Nashville and Austin, capturing intimate performances by artists like Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell while they were still struggling to be heard. 30 years later, we have restored these now historic recordings to their original, unedited length and are making them available for the first time ever, in all of their ragged, whiskey-soaked glory.

Featuring the first recordings ever made by Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell and John Hiatt, available for the very first time and previously unreleased acoustic performances by Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe, Guy Clark and Steve Young.” – Heartworn Highways

I received a copy of this soundtrack in the mail just in time to mold it into the soundtrack to my weekend. I was familar with number of these songs in the form of studio versions (for example, Steve Earle’s “Mercenary Song” shows up on his 1995 comeback album Train A Comin’), demos, live takes, etc. That said, the intimacy of this collection is undeniable — now I just need to see the accompanying film.

Previously: To Live’s To Fly :: The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt :: Waiting Around To Die
Steve Earle :: Mercenary Song
Amazon: Heartworn Highways – OST

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9 Responses to “Heartworn Highways :: OST”

  1. Ive got a copy I’ll send ya. I didn’t like it that much. The soundtrack is probably a lot better. Although there are some good scenes of David Allan Coe playing a prision and talking shit to the prisoners.

  2. I always thought ‘Waiting Around to Die’ was about Townes. But, I’ve got a live recording somewhere. He introduces the song by saying, it was about a guy he knew that lived in Houston. He watched him as he sat on his porch, waiting around to die.

  3. Funny, I just watched Heartworn Highways this weekend, and bought the soundtrack on Sunday. It’s amazing to think that Steve Earle wrote “The Mercenary Song” when he was 19-20. The movie itself is a little scattered, with many great scenes but no cohesive whole. I thought that both the David Allan Coe AND Charlie Daniels Band sequences needed to be cut. However, make sure to check out the extras on the dvd: They supplement the amazing scene near the end of the movie where Rodney Crowell, Steve Young, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, and others sit around drinking and singing songs on Christmas Eve 1975 at Guy/Susanna Clark’s house. It’s extremely moving and touching, and captures the true essence of what makes music great.

  4. Wow! I hadn’t heard of this being released/rereleased. I’ll be buying this for the full splendour of Townes. Thanks.

  5. it’s a great film. I am obsessed with this whole scene right now and I’m reading The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, the 1974 account of this Austin music scene, which I highly recommend.

    there are two clips from HH on youtube

    Steve Earle:
    at the very beginning of this clip, take a look at the painting on the wall. It’s also on the cover of Guy Clarke’s Old No. 1

  6. I choked up watching the scene with Townes Van Zandt and Seymour Washington. That scene’s worth the entire piece of the DVD. Glad that some of the dialougue’s on the CD.

  7. The movie is actually not that great. It’s kind of disjointed, jumping around from one thing to the next without putting it in context–or usually even noting who, when, or where. Not great in terms of a “documentary,” and I could have done without David Allan Coe’s “amusing” little prison rape story.

    The extras on the DVD version, OTOH, are amazing. There are a couple long bits of the guys just sitting around and playing for each other and for the hell of it. Skip the movie and just watch those, and you won’t be missing much.

  8. Oh yeah, and Steve Earle looks like he’s about 12. And Townes looks happy. Both pretty cool things to see.

  9. […] Some classic albums from the era include Viva Terlingua! by Jerry Jeff Walker (recorded in the tiny musician’s bar town of Luckenbach, Texas), Red Headed Stranger by the one and only Willie Nelson, and scores of other great records from a singer/songwriter’s paradise. To get the full picture, you need to invest in the “bible” of the scene, Jan Reid’s 1974 (and recently updated) The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Oh, you’ll also really enjoy the DVD Heartworn Highways, check out the drunkard’s post. […]

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