Monday March 24th 2008, 4:15 am
In Our Queue: Heartworn Highways
Filed under: In Our Queue | Posted by:

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had 3 different people mentioned this movie, Heartworn Highways (1981), and tell me that I basically need to drop everything else in my life and go out and buy it immediately or else I don’t really love country music. With such a recommendation, how could I refuse? So I started looking into and I think they may be right. This might just become one of my favorite music movies/documentaries of all time.

YouTube Preview ImageTownes Van Zandt- Poncho and Lefty (from Heartworn Highways)

Director James Szalapski sought to make a film about country music, but instead of going to the big flashy names in country at the time, he decided to focus on a small group of songwriters/ musicians that were inspired by the creative energy of the 60s and 70s, yet who were still deeply rooted in traditional country, folk and blues. The resulting documentary features the likes of Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe, Steve Young, Steve Earle and Charlie Daniels among others, who (for the most part) were virtually unknown at the time and rejected the completely formulaic and commercialized nature of Nashville/Music Row-based country music.

YouTube Preview ImageBilly Callery and Steve Young (from Heartworn Higways)

Steve Young, who was filmed when he just about to record his solo debut for RCA said “It was very casual, as everything was at the time. Somebody just announced to Guy [Clark], ‘You know these guys from Europe…they just want to shoot some film while we sit around and do what we usually do. We’re going to invite some people over, so why don’t you come over? It just sort of got started that way and took its own life and gained some momentum.” He added that “… it was truly an artistic bohemian kind of thing.” Well, I for one am eagerly awaiting its arrival in the mail. In the meantime, I will just have to keep myself occupied with these videos from the movie (check out more after the jump).



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