O Brother, Where Art Thou? [10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
When the soundtrack to Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's film O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released in 2001, it ended up being a left-wing entry on the Billboard charts, going on to sell nearly eight million copies and garnering a Grammy on its way to introducing the public to the gospel, string band, blues, and folk music of the previous century, single-handedly making what had come to be known as Americana music commercially viable. Not bad for a facsimile, for that is exactly what T-Bone Burnett's productions were, smoothed-out and polished facsimiles of songs that were much more wild, ragged, and immediate in their original '20s and '30s incarnations. It's hard to argue ...
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Note: Watch an Exclusive Video: The Music of 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
When the soundtrack to Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's film O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released in 2001, it ended up being a left-wing entry on the Billboard charts, going on to sell nearly eight million copies and garnering a Grammy on its way to introducing the public to the gospel, string band, blues, and folk music of the previous century, single-handedly making what had come to be known as Americana music commercially viable. Not bad for a facsimile, for that is exactly what T-Bone Burnett's productions were, smoothed-out and polished facsimiles of songs that were much more wild, ragged, and immediate in their original '20s and '30s incarnations. It's hard to argue with the soundtrack's success -- any album that can turn the sad, timeless and beautifully resigned "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" into a hit is obviously doing something right. Burnett's productions were full, warm, and reverent. All of the music was recorded before actual work on the movie even began, and the music became somewhat of a shooting script, with each scene defined and informed by the music behind it, making O Brother, Where Art Thou? a sort of massive video for the songs of another century, and songs like "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" (there were four versions of this song on the CD, two sung by Dan Tyminski, and one each by Norman Blake and John Hartford), "You Are My Sunshine" (sung by Norman Blake), "I'll Fly Away" (sung by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch), and "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" (sung by Chris Thomas King, who also acted in the movie) took on new life and fame in the digital realms of the 21st century. Burnett and the Coen Brothers pulled off quite a feat by making all this old-time music viable again, and they did it with an obvious love and reverence for it, plugging into a national yearning for simpler times, as if there ever truly was such a time. Life has always been infinitely complex, a fact that nostalgia is adept at sweeping away. This soundtrack remains a facsimile of another era, albeit a fascinating one, and while it doesn't diminish the original songs, it does take a little of the wildness out of them. The tenth anniversary deluxe edition of the soundtrack adds a bonus disc of 14 songs that were also recorded at the original sessions (some were used on the film soundtrack but didn't appear on the soundtrack album), including John Hartford's delightfully scratchy fiddle workout on "Tishomingo Blues," an eerie and definitive version of "I'll Fly Away" by the Kossoy Sisters (with accompaniment from a young Erik Darling), a sturdy take on the Appalachian murder ballad "Little Sadie" by Norman Blake, and an oddly haunting instrumental version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain" from Van Dyke Parks. The additional tracks expand the facsimile without shattering the illusion that there was a particular time in history when music was made by everyday people and not by marketed and manufactured stars. There was such a time, and the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? replicates it. Facsimile or no, it's reassuring.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/23/2011
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 602527489278
  • Catalog Number: 001474902
  • Sales rank: 2,996

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Po' Lazarus - James Carter & The Prisoners (4:32)
  2. 2 Big Rock Candy Mountain - Harry McClintock (2:18)
  3. 3 You Are My Sunshine - Norman Blake (4:24)
  4. 4 Down To the River To Pray - Alison Krauss (2:56)
  5. 5 I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow - Soggy Bottom Boys (3:09)
  6. 6 Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Chris Thomas King (2:44)
  7. 7 I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow - Norman Blake (4:29)
  8. 8 Keep On the Sunny Side - The Whites (3:35)
  9. 9 I'll Fly Away - Gillian Welch (3:58)
  10. 10 Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby - Gillian Welch (1:59)
  11. 11 In the Highways - Leah Peasall (1:37)
  12. 12 I Am Weary (Let Me Rest) - The Cox Family (3:16)
  13. 13 I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow - John Hartford (2:35)
  14. 14 O Death - Ralph Stanley (3:21)
  15. 15 In the Jailhouse Now - Soggy Bottom Boys (3:37)
  16. 16 I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow - Soggy Bottom Boys (4:17)
  17. 17 Indian War Whoop - John Hartford (1:31)
  18. 18 Lonesome Valley - The Fairfield Four (4:08)
  19. 19 Angel Band - The Stanley Brothers (2:20)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Colin Linden (1:15)
  2. 2 You Are My Sunshine - Alan O'Bryant (3:29)
  3. 3 Tishomingo Blues - John Hartford (2:01)
  4. 4 I'll Fly Away - The Kossoy Sisters (2:32)
  5. 5 Big Rock Candy Mountain - Van Dyke Parks (1:42)
  6. 6 Tom Devil - Ed Lewis (5:19)
  7. 7 Keep On the Sunny Side - The Cox Family (2:36)
  8. 8 Angel Band - Leah Peasall (0:58)
  9. 9 Big Rock Candy Mountain - Norman Blake (2:18)
  10. 10 Little Sadie - Norman Blake (1:50)
  11. 11 In the Highways - The Cox Family (2:12)
  12. 12 Hogfoot - John Hartford (3:47)
  13. 13 The Lord Will Make a Way - The Fairfield Four (2:36)
  14. 14 In the Jailhouse Now - Harley Allen (3:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Norman Blake Guitar, Vocals
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Alison Krauss Vocal Harmony
Sam Bush Mandolin
John Hartford Fiddle, Vocals
Buck White Mandolin, Vocal Harmony
Mike Compton Guitar, Mandolin
Harley Allen Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Barry Bales Bass
Ron Block Banjo
Curtis Burch Dobro
Evelyn Cox Guitar
Sidney Cox Banjo, Vocal Harmony
Suzanne Cox Mandolin, Vocals
Willard Cox Vocal Harmony
Dennis Crouch Bass
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Pat Enright Vocals, yodeling, Vocal Harmony
Isaac Freeman Bass
Tim O'Brien Vocals
Alan O'Bryant Banjo
Maura O'Connell Vocals
Sam Phillips Vocals
Dan Tyminski Guitar, Vocals
Cheryl White Bass, Vocal Harmony
Sharon White Guitar, Vocals
Gillian Welch Vocals
Dub Cornett Vocals
Chris Thomas King Guitar, Vocals
David Rawlings Vocals
Chris Sharp Guitar, Mandolin
Sarah Peasall Vocal Harmony
Tim Blake Nelson Vocals
Hannah Peasall Vocals
Leah Peasall Vocal Harmony
James Hill Baritone
First Baptist Church Choir of White House, TN Vocals
Porter McLister Vocals
Technical Credits
Ralph Stanley Arranger
Jimmie Davis Composer
John Hartford Composer
Jimmie Rodgers Composer
Ed Haley Arranger
Alan Lomax Arranger, Engineer
Mother Maybelle Carter Composer
T Bone Burnett Arranger, Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
A.P. Carter Composer
Harry McClintock Composer
Charles Mitchell Composer
Carter Stanley Arranger
Spencer Williams Composer
Robert K. Oermann Liner Notes
Gillian Welch Arranger, Composer
Vartan Art Direction
Albert E. Brumley Composer
Mike Piersante Engineer
Traditional Composer
Pete Roberts Composer
Nehemiah "Skip" James Composer
Teresa Tsuzaki Licensing
Hoyt Ming Composer
Mrs. Sidney Carter Arranger
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