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Down From the Mountain (Widescreen) [Import]

Ralph Stanley , Emmylou Harris , Chris Hegedus , D.A. Pennebaker    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

If you love the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, and Nick Doob's exhilarating concert film Down from the Mountain will be sheer heaven. And if you're new to bluegrass and "old-time mountain-style" music, the performances (also on CD) will be a revelation. John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, the Cox family, the venerable Ralph Stanley, and other traditional and alt-country artists who contributed the music to the Coen brothers' spaced odyssey gathered onstage in May 2000 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame. Interviews and rehearsal footage set the stage for this stupendous concert, highlights of which include "(Didn't Leave) Nobody but the Baby" by the sirens Harris, Welch, and Krauss; the Coxes' "(Will There Be) Any Stars in My Crown"; and Stanley's haunting "O Death." As one performer recommends, "Just ease in, sit down, and listen." It could be your salvation. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

A minor quibble with the DVD is the lack of instant song access. The film is in anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 surround sound.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What Bliss! Sept. 10 2003
Format:DVD
The music on this DVD is exquisite. It is so nice to see John Hartford one last time. His dry witty humor was well in tact on this release. When he sings about "the jerk who invented work" on "Big Rock Candy Mountain," I started to howl with laughter. Canadian Colin Linden isn't very well known in the USA, but he's been a favorite of mine since I discovered his "Raised By Wolves" CD. It's nice to have a bit of blues with the bluegrass; and he teams with Chris Thomas King on "John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto'." Both the Whites and the Cox Family do great little sets, very endearing. The Peasall Sisters are real scene-stealers with "Highways & the Hedges." Alison Krauss is in great voice, perhaps a bit shy on stage, but sings so beautifully. Emmylou Harris is a delight, and funny backstage as the baseball enthusiast. David Rawlings was visually very interesting as his face contorts to wrench emotion as he plays and sings. Gillian Welch does a good job and gets a lot of screen time in this cut. The Fairfield 4's harmonies are classic. Of course, Ralph Stanley is a timeless treasure. Like others, I would have preferred to have the whole concert with the backstage antics as part of a bonus section on the CD; but T-Bone Burnett did an excellent job bringing this music together. I also enjoyed Holly Hunter's humorous opening introduction about John Hartford & the FBI. The DVD is well worth celebrating these artists and this blissful music. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But could have been much better Sept. 6 2002
Format:DVD
This had to have been a lifetime event concert to attend in person, which I unfortunately did not. I first bought the music CD, loved it, went to the theatrical presentation in a regular movie house, and lastly, bought the VHS and DVD versions of this concert. Not all the songs on the music CD are on the videos, so I know they do not include the complete concert. Plus one song performed on stage is covered over by backstage commentary (John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto') which I found objectionable. I wanted to see the complete concert, as if I had a front row or better seat, that matched the music CD. Sure, all the backstage color is interesting, but not at the expense of leaving songs out or covering them up. I also agree that the technical quality could have been much better. Too grainy--they needed better cameras or better lighting, or both. Still, with all the flaws, it was worth buying, just to have some record of this monumental event to enjoy. Finally, after so many years, this genre of home-gown and honest music is getting the recognition it so richly deserves. Go see the "Down from the Mountain" 2002 tour if it comes near you. I missed it too, dad gum it. They need to do it again, better this time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But could have been much better Sept. 6 2002
Format:DVD
This had to have been a lifetime event concert to attend in person, which I unfortunately did not. I first bought the music CD, loved it, went to the theatrical presentation in a regular movie house, and lastly, bought the VHS and DVD versions of this concert. Not all the songs on the music CD are on the videos, so I know they do not include the complete concert. Plus one song performed on stage is covered over by backstage commentary (John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto') which I found objectionable. I wanted to see the complete concert, as if I had a front row or better seat, that matched the music CD. Sure, all the backstage color is interesting, but not at the expense of leaving songs out or covering them up. I also agree that the technical quality could have been much better. Too grainy--they needed better cameras or better lighting, or both. Still, with all the flaws, it was worth buying, just to have some record of this monumental event to enjoy. Finally, after so many years, this genre of home-gown and honest music is getting the recognition it so richly deserves. Go see the "Down from the Mountain" 2002 tour if it comes near you. I missed it too, dad gum it. They need to do it again, better this time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Poor DVD navigation mars good performances May 18 2002
Format:DVD
First, I agree with much of what was said in earlier reviews. There is some great music on this DVD, and I wouldn't pigeon-hole it as country... its head and shoulders above what is known as "country music" today. Rather than point out the good points of the disk, I will explain why I only give it three stars. It is largely because the DVD authoring was done by complete amateurs. There is no song index. Not only is the song index missing from the DVD's navigation system, there is not one on the box. The chapters that do exist are very coarse for the length of this documentary. Understand that I'm not suggesting that this fine documentary should have been chopped up into songs... DVD authoring allows very comprehensive navigation systems to be overlaid on a film without altering the original material. It's just whoever was in charge of mastering the DVD has less imagination and/or technical ability than I could have done on my PC. It seems like they want to force you to watch from start to finish every time. The beauty of concerts on DVD should be that they allow you to do that, or to skip to songs like on a CD, since after you've watched it 3 or 4 times, you know what your favortite parts are. My kids could do better DVD authoring. Maybe if they had at least WATCHED some other music DVD before they tried to do it for a real production, they would have had a clue. Any of the Eric Clapton concerts, or Eagles, or anything.
As far as the material, the only real low point of the underlying material (to me) was Gillian Welch singing "I wanna sing that rock and roll". It didn't fit the event, and it certainly didn't fit the place. And even beyond that song, in the pre-show documentary and in other songs, she comes across as an insecure dweeb. But fortunately, she's not the star of show. (The guy that sings with her should go solo.) Before this DVD, I had liked what little I'd heard of Gillian Welch. Now I can't stand her.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A lonf awaited treasure, finally here.
I saw the original show on PBS years ago and always wanted the video, but never followed up on it, then. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Doug T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Down home music
great Music from a super movie , music from the heart of America , Blue grass from some of the best Entertainers in the USA
Published 8 months ago by lar
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of our nations real mountain music history
I,ve been for the great portion of my life a hard rocker but when I saw this dvd of our basic history of mountain music which is a history of american music and life it stuck a... Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by Neal A. Brandon
1.0 out of 5 stars down from the mountain
"Down from the Mountain" is as bad as "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" is good. Don't buy it!
Published on March 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Masterpiece
An amazing piece of work. i would have watched this one simply for Emmylou and Ralph, the rest were just chocolate-and, my oh my, what sweet chocolate they were. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this DVD
It's a great idea but many of the performances are interupted by inconsequential backstage chatter. They frequently cut away from the performance on stage and show you twenty... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by Aldo
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I should have learned from Joseph Shocky's review at the top of this list. All the songs aren't there. Read more
Published on June 2 2003 by Charles H. Dilks Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Down from the Mountain
This is some great music and to be able to see the actual performers singing the songs is even better. However, the concert is not complete. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2003 by joseph s shockey
3.0 out of 5 stars Great music, frustrating access
The music is great, but you there isn't a searchable song menu and there's a lot of backstage stuff that should have been put in the "bonus features. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2002 by JoeS
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bluegrass
I found this CD to exciting and refreshing. Bluegrass at it's best. Equal to "O'Brother Where Art Thou?"
Published on Aug. 28 2002
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