Heartworn Highways Revisited

Read about the film ‘Heartworn Highways and its successor


Heartworn Highways was shot by James Szalapski and it portrayed some of the most important alternative country singer/songwriters of the time.  The footage of these artists (largely from Texas and Tennessee) is unique, real and breathtaking.  I have previously featured on this site one of the now most famous and moving performances in the film, from Townes Van Zandt.  Although the doco was filmed in the mid-70s, it was not released theatrically until 1981.  I have seen it at least three times and I would highly recommend it to readers as a remarkable insight into these artists and the alternative/outlaw country scene at the time.

Aside from Van Zandt, Heartworn Highways features Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Daniels and a very young Steve Earle.

According to Wikipedia, here is a complete list of songs in the movie

  • Guy Clark – “L.A. Freeway”
  • Larry Jon Wilson – “Ohoopee River Bottomland”
  • David Allan Coe – “Keep on Trucking”
  • Big Mack McGowan & Glenn Stagner “The Doctor’s Blues”
  • Guy Clark – “That Old Time Feeling”
  • Townes Van Zandt – “Waitin’ Around to Die”
  • David Allan Coe – “I Still Sing the Old Songs”
  • Barefoot Jerry – “Two Mile Pike”
  • Rodney Crowell – “Bluebird Wine”
  • Steve Young – “Alabama Highway”
  • Guy Clark – “Texas Cooking”
  • Gamble Rogers – “Black Label Blues”
  • Peggy Brooks – “Lets Go All the Way”
  • The Charlie Daniels Band – “Texas”
  • David Allan Coe – “Penitentiary Blues”
  • David Allan Coe – “River”
  • Steve Earle – “Elijah’s Church” (partial)
  • Ensemble – “Silent Night”

“Extras” Bonus Songs on DVD

  • Guy Clark – “Desperadoes Waiting For a Train”
  • Townes Van Zandt – “Pancho & Lefty”
  • Richard Dobson – “Hard by the Highway”
  • The Charlie Daniels Band – “Long Haired Country Boy”
  • Guy Clark w/ Rodney Crowell – “Ballad of Laverne and Captain Flint”
  • John Hiatt – “One For The One For Me”
  • Steve Earle – “Darlin’ Commit Me”
  • David Allan Coe – “Thank You, Jesus”

Now there is news of a new documentary Heartworn Highways Revisited, directed by Wayne Price.  Now, a young generation of filmmakers are planning to pay tribute by making a new film “that will celebrate the authenticity and express the feelings of the legendary original”. (Granite Films)

“A small handful of carefully selected today’s outlaws will be filmed and recorded – occasionally alongside musicians from the original film- in various settings, mostly intimate, but some in-studio and full-blown concert.  Performances will be as true and nuanced as those that set the standard for this genre of music.  Heartworn Highways Revisited will be a journey into the heartland of contemporary America in a quest for the soul of today’s music.”

Here is a link to a Q and A with the original film makers which touches on the new film.


Read about the film ‘Heartworn Highways and its successor



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Author: Rob Dickens

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