Music and Mirth
Townes Van Zandt was one of the greatest songwriters ever. While there are now tons of audio recordings of Townes' work, thanks to many reissues and releases after his tragic death, there is very little video of him, especially in his prime from the early to mid 1970s.
Townes' best moments on film were captured in the 1975 documentary Heartworn Highways (which was released in 1981). This excellent movie looks at the lives of Texas country singers such as Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and Rodney Crowell. The documentary is on DVD and is well worth seeing.
WATCH MOVIE HERE!!!
*** Three Ring Theater is showing the film plus the extra performances video thru September. Look for the Livestream widget in the upper left hand corner of the Main page.***
Watch on Livestream - http://www.livestream.com/cirkusberserkus
Click on " Latest Videos" or Video Library for on demand" viewing.
You can read more about it on Wikipedia here.
Heartworn Highways featured footage of Townes at home with his girlfriend Cindy and his good friend Seymour Washington. Townes interviews Seymour, a 79 year old blacksmith, who offered some great insights into his life and some words of wisdom before being visibly moved by the two songs that Townes then sings. Here is the video and the mp3s of both of these classic performances.
MP3 download - rt. click, "save as"
Townes Van Zandt - Waitin' Around To Die (from Heartworn Highways)
Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty
MP3 download - rt. click, "save as"
Townes Van Zandt - Pancho and Lefty (from Heartworn Highways)
A Complete List of Songs Performed in Movie:
"Extras" Bonus Songs on DVD
Party at Guy Clark's House
Title: Heartworn Highways
Label: Shout! Factory
Release Date: 2006
Format: MP3 320 K
“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 is the sonic companion to the classic 1981 documentary of the same name. David Gorman goes out of his way to tell listeners/purchasers that this disc is not the soundtrack to the film because there never was one. HackTone "had to go back to the original film elements and Nagra tapes with the film's editor and producer to create one," according to Gorman. They "spent months working between them and an audio restoration engineer in New York to make a stand-alone album out of audio that works perfectly well while watching the film but would sound horribly disjointed otherwise. In fact, most of the performances in the film are edited down to about 1/4 their original length." This is key because it must have been a very painful process at time--especially during the 'round table' recordings on Christmas Eve at the end of the album. The microphone was literally in motion during the entire evening, trying to capture whoever was singing lead; but you'd never know it by listening to the CD. The breathtaking sound quality is a credit to restoration engineer Alan Silverman. A number of performances were left off in order to make this fit onto a single disc. What is here is a vintage treasure trove of the then-emerging singer/songwriter movement from the (mostly) American South. What is most important to note is that these performances were recorded for the documentary; they are not licensed recordings from a catalog. Some of the artists included here are no longer with us, but their performances (e.g., Townes Van Zandt's "Waitin' 'Round to Die" and "Pancho and Lefty," Gamble Rogers' "Charlie's Place" and "The Black Label Blues") are chilling and top-notch. Yet, they are in context because these infromal performances are stunning throughout. Some of the truly notable ones are by songwriters who are not well known even now among the general populus -- for example, the great Steve Young, who decided on deeply moving covers of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" along with his own "Alabama Highway". Youngis the guy who wrote "Seven Bridges Road," "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" (the anthem of Waylon's outlaw movement that didn't include him--though, who was an outlaw long before it became a marketing concept)--and his "Montgomery in the Rain." is also here. Larry Jon Wilson makes an appearance with his deep backwoods "Ohoopee River Bottomland," which is equal parts Tony Joe White and Lightnin' Hopkins, all of it wrapped in Young's swampy Georgia voice and guitar playing. Guy Clark is heard on five cuts, three of them well known, but "Ballad of Laverne and Captain Flint" makes it too. Other writers here include David Allan Coe and John Hiatt, both of whom originally hailed from the Midwest. Hearing Coe in this setting is especially rewarding, almost separated from his bullshit image, just playing and singing his utterly moving songs, especially "I Still Sing the Old Songs," done with only an acoustic guitar. The glimpses listeners get of Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle apart from the slick Nashville production on their own records is especially refreshing. This is a timeless collection that truly stands on its own whether or not you saw the film in 1981 (it is available on DVD thank goodness). It's a no-jive set of songwriters doing what they do best away from the hype, the myth-making, and the self-destructive impulses that have plagued many of them. ~ Thom Jurek
01. L.A. Freeway - Guy Clark
02. "...That's a Lightnin' Lick..." - Various Artists
03. Ohoopee River Bottomland - Larry Jon Wilson
04. That Old Time Feeling - Guy Clark
05. "...People Condemn Whiskey..." - Various Artists
06. Waitin' Round to Die - Townes Van Zandt
07. I Still Sing the Old Songs - David Allan Coe
08. Intro - Various Artists
09. Desperadoes Waiting for a Train - Guy Clark
10. Bluebird Wine - Guy Clark/Rodney Crowell/Steve Earle/Steve Young
11. Alabama Highway - Jim McGuire/Guy Clark/Steve Young
12. Intro - Various Artists
13. Pancho and Lefty - Townes Van Zandt
14. Texas Cookin' - Guy Clark
15. Charlie's Place (Gamble's Story) - Gamble Rogers
16. The Black Label Blues - Gamble Rogers
17. "...These Guards All Drive Cadillacs! " - Various Artists
18. River - David Allan Coe
19. One for the One - John Hiatt
20. Darlin' Commit Me - Jim McGuire/John Hiatt/Steve Earle
21. Ballad of Laverne and Captain Flint - Jim McGuire/Guy Clark/Steve Young
22. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Susannah Clark/Jim McGuire/Billy Callery/Guy Clark/Richard Dobson/Rodney Crowell/Steve Earle/Steve Young
23. Mercenary Song - Susannah Clark/Jim McGuire/Billy Callery/Guy Clark/Richard Dobson/Rodney Crowell/Steve Earle/Steve Young
24. "...Would You Do Elijah's Church?" - Susannah Clark/Jim McGuire/Billy Callery/Guy Clark/Richard Dobson/Rodney Crowell/Steve Earle/Steve Young/Various Artists
25. Elijah's Church - Susannah Clark/Jim McGuire/Billy Callery/Guy Clark/Richard Dobson/Rodney Crowell/Steve Earle/Steve Young
26. Silent Night - Susannah Clark/Jim McGuire/Billy Callery/Guy Clark/Richard Dobson/Rodney Crowell/Steve Earle/Steve Young
Larry Jon Wilson
David Allan Coe
Townes Van Zandt
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