Sunday, October 28, 2007

travelling Heartworn Highways

"When HackTone's David Gorman phoned to say we were going to restore rare documentary recordings from 1975 of some of the greatest singer-songwriters of the American Southwest, I did not know what to expect. Some days later, a large box of analog tapes arrived. Loading up the first tape by Guy Clark and hitting play filled my studio with a real presence rarely heard in today's era of over-processed music. The simplicity and honesty of the performance and the bigger-than-life sound of Guy's voice and guitar were mesmerizing; likewise for all the seminal artists whose one-on-one performances the film crew captured. It was the kind of music hardly ever experienced anymore - music made by people sitting right next to you in their homes, unamplified, playing and singing."

-from the liner notes to Heartworn Highways

The term "Americana" is thrown around a lot in reference to describing different artists' musical style. Want a piece of true Americana? Check out the soundtrack for Heartworn Highways and you'll get the real deal.

I have to admit to you, for the longest time I was one of those people who when asked what kind of music I listened to would reply, "Anything but country." That's not the case anymore, but I still don't own a ten-gallon hat or a pair of spurs. Regardless, I've grown to appreciate country by degrees, and this album only makes me enjoy it more. I have to tell you that it's been a long time since I've heard an entire album as genuine and earnest as the twenty-six tracks on this disc, with guitar pickin' and strummin' that comes from the heart. Try listening to Guy Clark below with the opening track on the album, L.A. Freeway. It's stripped down to a man with a guitar baring his soul. Tell me he isn't ripping out a piece of himself and handing it over to you as you're listening.

The rest of the disc is just as emotionally expressive, with informal dialogue interspersed between some the songs. The source of the soundtrack is a movie produced over 30 years ago that includes such country icons as Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, John Hiat, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and others. The folks over at HackTone Records spent over six months culling through all of the recordings and footage from the movie to re-master and capture the essence of this collection of masterful music. Even if, like me, you don't consider yourself a country music fan, try these songs. Listen to these singers. Let them open up their hearts to you.

Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway : Heartworn Highways Soundtrack

Dialogue - "People condemn whiskey..." : Heartworn Highways Soundtrack

Townes Van Zandt - Waiting Around To Die
: Heartworn Highways Soundtrack

Visit Heartworn Highways on MySpace and its label HackTone Records.

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