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Various Artists - Heartworn Highways

Heartworn Highways

Various Artists

DK 37457

Hacktone Records

Available from Shout

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Though this has the same title as a fantastic movie that was shot in 1975 & 76, and many of the same artists, it is not a sound track to the movie by intention and design. It was taken from the same sessions however, and the same one rule applies here, no covers, all the songs are performed by the artists that wrote them. That rule gives this disc (and the movie) music, that 30 years later, still has the power and that ring of sincerity that drives the songs home, and still takes your breath away. You have artists that have left their mark on music and become household names such as; Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and John Hiatt; and also others that didn’t become so well known, through circumstances, but none the less still are worthy of seeing and hearing such as Gamble Rogers (We are the poorer linguistically and historically for his loss. His ability to spin a yarn has to be heard and is worth the price alone.), David Allan Coe, and Larry Jon Wilson. Remember all along that this is Steve Earle or Guy Clark, or John Hiatt with no pretensions and no fame singing early versions of songs they wrote before the songs and artists became part of landscape. There is Guy Clark’s Desperadoes Waiting for a Train, Bluebird Wine by Rodney Crowell, and Townes Van Zandt’s, Pancho and Lefty. It was a time that was a creative spark that changed the music we listen to because the power of the songwriters and their tunes was heard loud and clear. The little vignettes, introductions and stories are told with such an “in the moment” sincerity that they don’t grow stale. This is a moment in time that has been flash frozen, and has retained all the joy, turmoil, purity, and angst of an era, and we are all the richer for this soundtrack having been preserved.

Track List:

  • L.A. Freeway - Guy Clark
  • "...that's a Lightnin' lick..." [dialogue]
  • Ohoopee River Bottomland - Larry Jon Wilson
  • That Old Time Feeling - Guy Clark
  • "...people condemn whiskey..." [dialogue]
  • Waiting Around To Die - Townes Van Zandt
  • I Still Sing The Old Songs - David Allan Coe
  • Intro
  • Desperadoes Waiting For A Train - Guy Clark
  • Bluebird Wine - Rodney Crowell (with Steve Earle, Guy Clark & Steve Young)
  • Alabama Highway - Steve Young
  • Intro 13. Pancho And Lefty - Townes Van Zandt
  • Texas Cookin' - Guy Clark
  • Charlie's Place Gamble Rogers
  • The Black Label Blues - Gamble Rogers
  • "...these guards all drive Cadillacs!" [dialogue]
  • River - David Allan Coe
  • One For The One - John Hiatt
  • Darlin' Commit Me - Steve Earle (with John Hiatt)
  • Ballad Of Lavern & Captain Flint - Guy Clark (with Steve Young)
  • I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Steve Young
  • The Mercenary Song - Steve Earle
  • "...would you do Elijah's Church?" [dialogue]
  • Elijah's Church - Steve Earle
  • Silent Night – Group

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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