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O Brother Where Art Thou? Mus Soundtrack, SACD
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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".
Most recent customer reviews
There is no case. Obviously the record is amazing, but there is a clear case that the record is inPublished 5 months ago by Tamara Timbers
What can I say? I'm a blues lover and this collection of songs from the 1930s is a real treat.Published 5 months ago by Louise Salter
O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack is a music set that my husband first purchased (around the time that the movie was released)when he was still stationed in Iceland (during his... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Stella Carrier
Bought the vinyl version for a friend and he couldn't be happier with it. Played it once before giving it to them and it's probably the best sounding vinyl I've heard. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dane
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