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O Brother Where Art Thou? Mus [SACD, Soundtrack]

T Bone Burnett Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (451 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Joel and Ethan Coen have long established themselves as film stylists without peer: from Blood Simple to Fargo, their movies have never been less than fascinating, and there has never been any question that their films could not have been made by anyone else. In T-Bone Burnett, the producer of the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, they have finally met their match: Burnett's work in assembling a collection of pieces for the Depression-set film is as skilled and entrancing as the film itself.

Despite the presence of Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss and bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, the stars here are the songs themselves, a host of traditional songs augmented by archival recordings. The collection is also a showcase for a host of lesser known and forgotten bluegrass masters: The Cox Family, collaborators with Krauss; Norman Blake, a sideman for Bob Dylan and June Carter Cash; country gospel group The Whites, who once counted Ricky Skaggs as a member (and who, here, cover the Carter Family); and young bluesman Chris Thomas King among them. All bring life to their songs, and the results are sublime--and, at times (Krauss and a choir's take on "Down To The River to Pray", Blake's instrumental version of the oft-repeated "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow"), downright entrancing.

Some of these songs can be found on Alan Lomax collections. If you enjoy this album, we also highly recommend the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music and Woody Guthrie's Asch Recordings series. --Randy Silver --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but..... June 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This CD is fantastic, with songs that will leave you humming and tapping your feet. I would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that the primary song I wanted featuring the artists from the actual movie was not featured on the album. The version of "I'll FLy Away" from the actual movie is done by the Kossoy Sisters and is featured on their album "Bowling Green". I hope this helps anyone else who will end up trying to hunt down that origianl version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music the way is should be June 16 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is perhaps the best soundtrack ever made. It is a stunning mix of mostly acoustic tracks by most of the best bluegrass artists ever. There is work on here from Ralph Stanely, Allison Kraus, and Emmelou Harris, to name a few. This CD won a lot of Grammys the year that it came out, and that is because it was the best CD of that year.
Highlights include the Big Rock Candy Mountains, Man of Constant Sorrow, In the Jailhouse Now and O Death. If you have ever wondered what bluegrass sounded like but have been afraid to try, this is the CD for you. It will show you the magic that this genre of music can provide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O Brother June 9 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film based loosely on Homer's "The Odyssey". This soundtrack takes the movie from good to great. The tracks follow the progression of the movie. Nearly an hour of blue-grass music, even if you haven't seen the movie, this is worth having if you like "Old-Time" Country music and blue-grass.
The legend, Ralph Stanley, appears a couple of times here, although his "Man of Constant Sorrow" is here too, but covered by Dan Tyminski. Stanley's "O Death" is a haunting tune sung without accompaniment. His voice is sorrowful and full of pain, and will send shivers up your spine. Tyminski's cover is well done and becomes the centerpiece for the movie. The sultry voices of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch provide a rising rendition of "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." Alison Krauss also lends her voice to the spiritual "Down to the River to Pray," and joins up again with Gillian Welch for "I'll Fly Away". The surprise here is Tim Blake Nelson on lead vocals as the dimwitted Delmar on "In the Jailhouse Now."
Overall, this is a great soundtrack, and well worth owning if you like this type of music. I think the Coen brothers have done a lot with the release of this movie to turn the spotlight onto blue-grass music. This is great music that deserves more than the fifteen minutes of fame it's received.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some variety in the music industry. Jan. 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album represents something that has been long overdue in the mainstream music industry for the past 2 or 3 decades. Most music being released has slowly but surely digressed to the Brittney Spears and Madonna image. Even some favorite country artists are finding that they have to dress in skimpy clothes to sell records. Quite honestly, its time to make some music available to the major market that is not centered around the themes of drugs, sex, and how many STD's a person can acquire in one night. I'm not saying that Notorious B.I.G. has very bad songs, I have listened to those too, and the rhythms are good. However, if all that is available in the mainstream is songs of distruction and corruption, what can we possibly expect our society to become. I'm not saying that rock, metal, rap, and pop artists should be banished. They have a right to play their music just as everyone else does. ITS ABOUT VARIETY. Let's have some more records like this (even if they are reproductions from the past) where at least people have a choice when they go the record store. No, I don't mean the tiny rack in the back corner where the store wants $22.99 for a 40 year old song. Stores should display such records beside Metallica, 3 Doors Down etc. Let the people make the choice, not the industry. Then the industry will find less piracy, and a more enthusiastic audience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely mix of traditional music Nov. 3 2003
Format:Audio CD
Performed by some of today's best singers, this multi-Grammy Award winner is a marvelous addition to any country/folk music collection. Some of these artists are at the top of their field, but some will be "discoveries" for most of us, like the beautiful rendition of "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" by Chris Thomas King, a versatile young man who is versed in many styles, and here sings in the old blues tradition and does it brilliantly.
The highlights for me are: The legendary Ralph Stanley, with his plaintive acappella chant of "O Death", which carries with it all the pain and soul of Appalachia, and the purity of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by the Soggy Bottom Boys, who consist of Union Station member Dan Tyminsky on lead vocals and guitar, backed by Harley Allen and Pat Enright. For anyone who likes traditional music, you can't get any better than this.
Another acappella gem is "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby", with Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch with harmonies that sound as if they came from another era. Everything on this disc recalls days gone by; there is a refreshing simplicity, and a lot of the songs are filled with faith.
There is exquisite musicianship on this CD, and it is a nice long one at 60'34 minutes. The booklet insert is something I appreciate too; it is a collage of yellowed stained paper on peeling walls, with a terrific layout, and as it says on one of its pages, "Old-Time Music Is Very Much Alive".
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Songs are great.
Great songs for the collection.
Published 14 days ago by Jim Quinlan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Love this music!
Published 1 month ago by Gordon Rodger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this soundtrack.
Published 1 month ago by Jude
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the movie!
Loved the old bluegrass and bluegrass-influenced material. Some of the songs I remember hearing my Dad play and sing at house parties when I was a child.... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Clarice Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!
Definitely Clooney's best.
Soundtrack is music I can relate to.
Great actors.
Clothes well designed for the period.
Definitely recommend.
Published 12 months ago by Lady of the Lake
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the Movie But this CD fell flat
There are only three tracks on this whole CD that I enjoy. The rest of it is pretty mellow and preachy.
Published 14 months ago by Marlena Stocker
4.0 out of 5 stars No more life of Sorrow
I am quite happy with how quickly my order arrived. And I have wanted this item for so long, I can't help but be excited to finally have it to add to my collections.
Published 15 months ago by Tammy
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it
Can't go wrong. If you liked the movie, you'll like the soundtrack. It keeps the interest, moving from lonesome a capella to toe-tapping tracks with plenty of banjo riffs. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Katherine
5.0 out of 5 stars to funny
A enjoyable little cd that you can hum or sing along with.HUbby was thrilled when he got it.I have my favorite songs on it
Published 21 months ago by Elizabeth
3.0 out of 5 stars False advertising?
This is advertised as 2 LP's. I only got one. Am I missing something? Other than that, an excellent record.
Published 22 months ago by Tlord
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