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
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.