The Hired Hand soundtrack (1971) by Bruce Langhorne


This is beautiful, thanks for sharing! It treads that perfect, incredibly-difficult line of being both unobtrusive and absorbing, mood music but not background music.

I’m going to follow it up with some Dirty Three tracks.


Well said, DeadLeaves… well said indeed.

I’m so glad this great soundtrack has found a new home… it’s been hard to find for ages. I’ve never come across the Scissor Tail label before, but I’m sure eager to dig into their catalog now. Cheers, David!

Reminds me a bit of George Winston, if he wore shoes. Thanx, David.

The film itself is also a mesmerizing masterpiece. A quiet, contemplative western. Also includes one of my favorite death scenes ever.

you should also check out the version of his soundtrack for Fonda’s “Idaho Transfer” that someone online has cobbled together; recording the music with accompanying incidentals and dialog directly from what must be a bootleg of the movie. it’s not as plaintive and moving as “The Hired Hand” but it has its charms and being a sci-fi flick the music has a different pallet but the same hand.

this however might be the most perfect soundtrack ever recorded and just some of the plain best, and expressive music around. sometimes it’s too much for me, but when it is right is so sublimely right. beautiful, beautiful. i would have loved this as a kid but i’m sure it might have overwhelmed me with emotion. it almost does now. this soundtrack is like a secret handshake; i’m surprised when it appears and with whom.

Music sounds fabulous. I can’t believe I didn’t know about the film either. Warren Oates, Verna Bloom? Dang. I really love this period of dark, disillusioned Westerns. So many lesser known gems from this time. Looking forward to both.

Looks like there are links to the Idaho Transfer soundtrack @

I saw IT about 10 years ago, when it was on a poor-quality DVD collection of minor SF films.

Both of these are awesome listens; the embedded dialogue +SFX for IT are distracting, but not intolerable. Would love to hear the music alone.


The first piece was like Philip Glass meets the Appalachians range.

The second track would fit nicely into an episode of Justified.


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