Down from the Mountain (O Brother, Where Art Thou? Live)

Down from the Mountain (O Brother, Where Art Thou? Live)

     
 

Like the riveting O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack that inspired it, Down from the Mountain is a celebratory and deeply moving affair -- a veritable revival meeting for fans of America's deepest roots music: country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and blues. Recorded at Nashville's venerable Ryman Auditorium inSee more details below

Overview

Like the riveting O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack that inspired it, Down from the Mountain is a celebratory and deeply moving affair -- a veritable revival meeting for fans of America's deepest roots music: country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and blues. Recorded at Nashville's venerable Ryman Auditorium in May 2001 -- and captured on film for a documentary of the same name -- this 12-song concert disc reprises 4 songs from the O Brother soundtrack. But the nonfilm material is just as transportive, as every artist here digs deep into truly rich material. Alison Krauss and her Union Station cohort Dan Tyminski (who dubbed George Clooney's voice in the movie) are especially effective on the gritty "Wild Bill Jones" (a showcase for Tyminski's rich, emotive baritone) and in the beautiful blending of their voices on the haunting "Blue and Lonesome." Chris Thomas King (who played bluesman Tommy Johnson in the film) and his partner, Colin Linden, get low-down on the Delta-styled "John Law Burned Down the Liquor Store," which, in a nice bit of sequencing, is followed by Emmylou Harris's stately evocation of redemption in "Green Pastures." Elsewhere, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, the Cox Family, the Whites, Welch and Krauss, and the redoubtable Fairfield Four (kicking off the show with a resonant a cappella take on "Po' Lazarus") offer powerful, indelible performances. And in an unexpectedly poignant moment, John Hartford serves up a delightful, jolly retelling of "Big Rock Candy Mountain," in what turned out to be his final recorded performance before his death in June 2001. Hartford's personable style is as timeless as the music herein. And that's saying something.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Recorded at Nashville's historic Ryman Theater as a sort of a musical wrap party for the Coen Brothers' 2000 film O Brother Where Art Thou, this album offers live versions of several of the traditional American folk songs featured in the film, with a few additions along the same vein. Sounding almost like an all-traditional country episode of "A Prairie Home Companion," the guests (including Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, the Whites, the Fairfield Four, and the Cox Family, among others) amiably exchange songs on-stage, reveling in the atmosphere of warm country, bluegrass, and blues music. Highlights include two non-traditional tracks from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, whose earthy compositions fit in seamlessly with the time-honored traditional songs, and Emmylou Harris' contribution "Green Pastures" (which originally appeared on Roses in the Snow, her own Americana revival album from some 20 years earlier). Some of the songs don't fare as well, unfortunately, with musician/actor Chris Thomas King's "John Law Burned Down the Liquor Sto' " sounding a bit too faux-traditional, but hometown favorites the Fairfield Four more than make up for it with their hair-raising rendition of the work song/spiritual "Po' Lazarus." Of particular note is fiddler and folklorist John Hartford's cheery rendition of the hobo fantasy "Big Rock Candy Mountain," which proved to be his last recorded performance before his death nearly a year later. The concert is recorded so well that it is occasionally surprising to hear applause at the end of the songs; the performances are so nearly flawless it is easy to forget that this was a live recording. Fans of traditional American folk music and those who have enjoyed the O Brother soundtrack will not be disappointed.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/24/2001
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0008817022123
catalogNumber:
170221

Tracks

  1. Po Lazarus  -  Fairfield Four
  2. Big Rock Candy Mountain  - John Hartford
  3. Wild Bill Jones  - Alison Krauss
  4. Blue & Lonesome  - Alison Krauss
  5. I Am Weary (Let Me Rest)  -  Cox Family
  6. Will There Be any Stars In My Crown @@The Cox Family
  7. I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll  - Gillian Welch
  8. Dear Someone  - Gillian Welch
  9. Sandy Land @@The Whites  -  Whites
  10. John Law Burned Down The Liquor Sto' @@Thomas King  - Chris Thomas King
  11. Green Pastures  - Emmylou Harris
  12. I'll Fly Away  - Alison Krauss

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