In 1971, Bruce Langhorne soundtracked the Peter Fonda film The Hired Hand. Langhorne recorded his accompaniments at home in Laurel Canyon, feeling his way around the film with instruments including guitar, Farfisa organ and appalachian dulcimer, truly capturing the deep American spirit of the film. CD and LP editions available from Blast First Petite and Scissor Tail Editions respectively.
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Oh this is lovely. I've never seen Peter Honda's 'The Hired Hand' but listening to this soundtrack I can imagine it. Bruce Langhorne was a Laurel Canyon regular and one time Bob Dylan guitarist but here he combined banjo, fiddle, harmonica and organ to create a mesmerising soundtrack. The music has a hazy faraway feel as if it's being shone through some bright late afternoon dusty sun. 'Opening' is quite simply a delight, a repetitive banjo trill is joined by keening fiddle and eventually shapeshifting piano chords to set the scene perfectly for what will come later. On 'Leaving Del Norte' a lone and start guitar is joined by friendly steel guitar to repeat a downward pattern that returns in a different form on 'Riding Through the Rain' but it's when acoustic guitar and fiddle combine on the frustratingly brief 'Spring' and the thankfully longer 'Arches' that creates the most telling atmospheres. This must surely be a precursor to Badalamenti's 'The Straight Story' soundtrack. Absolutely wonderful evocative stuff using the simplest of tools. Well worth a purchase.
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