From page 93 of Classic Rock Magazine October 2003
Heartworn Highways (Snapper)
Here’s another package that shows what a boon the DVD format has already become.
Heartworn Highways was a 1975 film by James Szalapski that followed some maverick young country artists bent on reclaiming the music from its schmaltzy destiny.
Retrospectively, what a bullseye Szalapski scored.
He captured Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, John Hiatt and many more sitting around kitchen tables and roadside bars, engaged in forging the roots of alt.country and Americana.
The documentary became a word- of-mouth rarity for those aware of it, and DVD is its saviour. Restored, remastered with an additional hour- plus of performances that will be of great value to musical historians and lo-fi connoisseurs, and with a 24-page booklet that has a long transcription of an interview with the late Szalapski, it is a genuine treasure for all stirred by this evocative roots music.
Among the gems are Szalapski’s explanation of why he rejected the term ‘new country’ way back in 1975. “They came out with a
yoghurt called New Country right when we were cutting the movie...” Szalapski’s style was as wry as his wit, and he frames each scene with an artist’s eye, imbuing Heartworn Highway with a dimension that ensures even casual fans of the music will find plenty to relish, too.
★★★★ ★ Jon Hotten