I asked Langhorne Slim to be a part of Heartworn Highways Revisited long after I'd begun filming.
He was sitting backstage at Carnegie Hall, preparing to open for John McCauley. John was the first musician I approached about Heartworn and he had agreed to introduce me to other members of his community in Nashville to focus on in the film. I had already met Langhorne (aka: Sean) a few years back while shooting a we music series with Ice Cream Man. His song "Back to the Wild" remains lodged firmly in my brain, far moreso than most of the others I'd shot.
If I could return to when I was a child, I'd forget what I learned and go back to the wild.
Sean remembered me. He was just about to move to Nashville and would "love to be a part of your film." The day we shot was overcast and a bit rainy. Sean was new to town, didn't really know many people (yet). I offered to introduce him to Jonny Fritz. The next year, Sean would be touring with Jonny's fiddle player, Josh Hedley.
I love all the musicians who participated in my film. Their songs speak to me, and as people, they've all embraced and supported me. But I wouldn't call any of them to tell them big news in my life - except for Sean. We broke the third wall and became brothers over 10 days last winter when I invited him to join me in Utah for a small event at Sundance and then Summit. We shared a room. We shared stories of life. He got me talking about Jennifer Jackson (everybody is). We shared a strong passion for dried mangos. Ah, bromance.
This image was captured at Buddy's Room in Red Hook, Brooklyn - a place my one and only other soul brother from another mother, Tom Paul, owns. Sean and I drove home from Newport together that day, and I found him a place to stay. The light was right. Sean suggested the song. Here he is tuning up as the sun fell to a perfect angle on the horizon outside the third story window, the Statue of Liberty in its direct path.
Click here for the performance that ensued moments later.