O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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Set in Mississippi in the 1930s and inspired by Homer's The Odyssey, Joel and Ethan Coen's new film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? features a first-rate soundtrack of period music performed largely by contemporary artists. In this context, the Alan Lomax-recorded field holler by James Carter & the Prisoners, "Po Lazarus," and Harry McClintock's original


Set in Mississippi in the 1930s and inspired by Homer's The Odyssey, Joel and Ethan Coen's new film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? features a first-rate soundtrack of period music performed largely by contemporary artists. In this context, the Alan Lomax-recorded field holler by James Carter & the Prisoners, "Po Lazarus," and Harry McClintock's original 1928 recording of his poignant hobo classic "Big Rock Candy Mountain" are of a piece with Delta blues great Skip James's "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues," interpreted authoritatively by Chris Thomas King. The pristine beauty of revered standards such as "I'll Fly Away" (with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch harmonizing over a spare acoustic arrangement) and "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby," featuring Krauss, Welch, and Emmylou Harris in close, heart-tugging harmony, will bring tears to all but the hard-core heathens among us. And check out the sub-teen Peasall Sisters, who are simply fabulous on a feisty interpretation of Maybelle Carter's "In the Highways."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Evan Cater
The critical consensus at the end of 2000 was that it had been one of the weakest film years in recent memory. Which may have been true, despite O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen brothers' delightfully warm and weird Depression-era re-telling of Homer's Odyssey. But for music lovers, 2000 was an amazing year at the movies, and it produced several excellent soundtrack compilations including Almost Famous, Dancer in the Dark, Wonder Boys, and High Fidelity. Even with such steep competition, the soundtrack album for O Brother, Where Art Thou? may be the best of the year. In order to capture the sound of Mississippi circa 1932, the Coens commissioned T-Bone Burnett, a masterful producer whose work with artists like Elvis Costello, Sam Phillips, Joseph Arthur, and Counting Crows has earned him a special place in the folk-rock hall of fame, to research and re-create the country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and blues of the era. The Coens were so taken with Burnett's discoveries that the film became a unique sort of musical revue. There are no original compositions here (though Burnett is given a "music by" credit usually reserved for composers), and the characters do not generally break into stylized song and dance numbers (as they do in, say, Everyone Says I Love You). But nearly every scene in O Brother is set to a period song, and the music frequently drives and defines the action. With two exceptions -- a stunning 1955 Alan Lomax recording of a black prison chain gang singing "Po Lazarus," and Harry McClintock's "Big Rock Candy Mountain" -- every song was recorded for the film by an impressive assembly of old-time country veterans (Fairfield Four, Ralph Stanley, the Whites) and talented newcomers (Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris). These recordings, which were made without the meddling clarity of digital technology, give the film much of its power and authenticity. A significant segment of the plot hinges on the (utterly plausible) notion that Dan Tyminksi's ebullient rendition of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" could be a runaway hit. A memorable sequence involving three riverside sirens centers around an eerie version of "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." And Stanley's a cappella performance of "O Death" sets a chilling tone for a climactic struggle at a Ku Klux Klan rally. Throughout, Burnett's steady guiding hand is evident. This soundtrack is a powerful tribute not only to the time-honored but commercially ignored genres of bluegrass and mountain music but also to Burnett's remarkable skills as a producer.
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
...the Coen brothers, together with producer T Bone Burnett, have assembled a collection of folk, bluegrass, gospel and hobo country so true to the music's down-home, egalitarian roots that it's hard to distinguish the old tracks from the new and the folk heroes from screen actors.

Product Details

Release Date:
Lost Highway


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ralph Stanley   Vocals
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Sam Bush   Mandolin
Alison Krauss   Vocals
John Hartford   Fiddle,Vocals
Buck White   Mandolin,Vocals
Mike Compton   Mandolin
Barry Bales   Bass
Ron Block   Banjo
Curtis Burch   Dobro
Evelyn Cox   Guitar
Sidney Cox   Banjo,Vocals
Suzanne Cox   Mandolin,Vocals
Willard Cox   Vocals
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Pat Enright   Vocals,yodeling
Isaac Freeman   Bass,Vocals
James Hill   Vocals
Maura O'Connell   Vocals
Dan Tyminski   Guitar,Vocals
Wilson Waters   Vocals
Cheryl White   Bass,Vocals
Sharon White   Guitar,Vocals
Gillian Welch   Vocals
Dub Cornett   Vocals
Chris Thomas   Guitar,Vocals
David Rawlings   Vocals
Chris Sharp   Guitar
Robert Hamlett   Vocals
Joseph Rice   Vocals
Sarah Peasall   Vocals
Hannah Peasall   Vocals
Leah Peasall   Vocals
Sam Phillips   Vocals
Norman Blake   Guitar,Vocals
First Baptist Church of Norfolk Choir   Vocals
Soggy Bottom Boys   Track Performer
Tim Blake Nelson   Track Performer
James Carter And The Prisoners   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Alan Lomax   Arranger
T Bone Burnett   Arranger,Producer
Carter Stanley   Arranger

Customer Reviews

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O Brother, Where Art Thou? 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Joyachiever More than 1 year ago
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 time in the navy). There are multiple songs on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack that are elevating (my personal favorite song on this cd is Track number 8 Keep On The Sunny Side while my husband’s favorite track from this soundtrack (even with my husband’s naturally optimistic disposition)is number five I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow. Overall, the O Brother Where Are Thou soundtrack is good for either people who are eclectic music lovers and/or those who liked the O Brother Where Art Thou movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
To fully appreciate this CD is to think back what folk music is all about; ordinary people leading ordinary life. Contemporary bluegrass has thus amalgamate folk music and traditional mountain music here.haunting voices do it for me, send chills of fear and raw emotion down my spine with voices of Stanley Brother on'' O Death'', Ms' Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss, Gillian Welsh,Skip James,The carter Family [ yes, June Carter's family!]. If I was a betting man I will say that this is a sure bet for a Grammy Award and probably an Oscar for the raw emotion the songs potray.Enjoy this Cd because if you never buy another bluegrass CD, you already have an epitome in your hand [ now let me wipe the tears from my misty eyes]:=).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is amazing. You can feel the power and soul of the songs. Great song great lyrics great vocals. Just just great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD should be at least nominated for a grammy in the soundtrack category. This is a collection of some of the best in bluegrass, country, and gospel/folk. It made me homesick for my childhood in the South, especially the tracks by the Soggy Bottom Boys and Emmylou Harris. A great buy for someone who is just being introduced to this genre of music and a must buy for one who already loves it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music and harmonies are touching and chilling at the same time.....especially if you have bluegrass in your soul.....and if you don't you will have after hearing this!! I highly recommend this one.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music from this movie brings back so many memories of listening to my ''Granmaw'' singing on the front porch, I haven't stopped smiling for a week. It is the beautiful harmony that will bring tears to your eyes and leave you begging for more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you were raised in the rural south in the 50's are earlier this is must see.Any one who has a love for good clean music that touches your very soul it don't get any better!This movie is so real and gives a clear picture of life in the south and why the south is so special and so honest and good. Go and see this one you will leave happy and looking for the Sound Track!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Much could be written about this soundtrack. It suffices to say that this is traditional American country music at its very best, sung by some of its finest practitioners. They include the Cox Family, The Whites, Alison Krauss, and, yes, even the Soggy Bottom Boys! While the film in some respects is nondescript the music is unforgetable and will stay with you long after you've seen the film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Singing harmonies at Camp Meetin', the preacher preachin', then everybody headed out for margeritas (we had moved on from moonshine by then)...they all sent me running to the big city, gasping for what I thought was air and culture. The Cohnen Brothers have done it again: absolutely floored me, and sent me on my own Oddessey..back home to the music and culture that I love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DO NOT buy this CD if you plan to save money, because it will set you on a path, first to locate other CDs by the artists performing here, and then to explore some of the other great singers and musicians in the world of old-time, bluegrass and country music. There is a record store attached to the cinema where I saw ''Oh Brother...''. When the closing credits finished rolling the entire audience filed out of the cinema into the store looking to buy the soundtrack CD. This in itself is a testament to the effect the music used in the film has on its audience. The various tracks here are beautiful (''Down in the River to Pray''), heartwarming (''I'll Fly Away'', ''In the Highways''), compelling (''Man of Constant Sorrow''), thrilling (''Oh Death'') or just down right wonderful. OK, I was only kidding, buy the CD now, and talk to your bank manager on Monday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been so touched by a soundtrack. Being a native California girl, I have never associated myself with this sort of traditional music; however, when watching _O Brother_, my heart was ripped open by the memories of my childhood when my grandfather and his brothers playing together after dinner. To be honest, I had always thought they had made thuse silly songs up themselves. My great-grandfather had been a Southern Baptist minister and farmer, and much of my family moved to California during the ''Dustbowl''. These songs brought back childhood memories that were long forgotten.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This soundtrack will make a bluegrass lover of anyone. The harmonies are fantastic, especially ''Down to the River'' and ''In the Highways''. This soundtrack brings out the atmosphere of the South of the thirties. As a southerner, I'm transported when I listen!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the movie, and ran right out and bought the soundtrack. The music is great! It is hard to pick a favorite, they all are so good. Okie Gal
Guest More than 1 year ago
About one week ago I read a review about the CD O Brother, Where Art Though? It said this CD was flying off the shelves in record and book stores. I was curious and bought it before I saw the movie. I was instantly intranced by this music. I had never heard this kind of music before last week. There is something so honest an American about these songs that I have already come to love. I went to see the movie and was equally charmed by the Coen brothers script and how the music came into play in every scene of the movie. Apparently every one else in the theatre felt the same way I did because people where singing along with the songs and laughing out loud! My son who lives 500 miles away in Georgia saw the movie last week and said people up there where singing along too! All this week I have been singing and humming these songs! Thank you Coen brothers and T-Bone Burnett and all the artists on this CD for opening up a whole new world of music to me. I wish I could hear these songs on the radio!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best movie of the year, and now the best soundtrack of the year. I highly reccomend the movie and the soundtrack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great soundtrack full of amazing voices and songs. It makes the movie worth watching. I love it.!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The absolute best music I've experienced in years! Brought tears & smiles as I rememebered my Mom & Dad singing ''Big Rock Candy Mountain'' back on ''Sandia Military Base'' in Alburqueque, NM. I was just a little kid, but even then, I knew the magic of that song. It was the one and only song I ever heard them sing together, and they were married for over 50 years. ''You Are My Sunshine'', the song my sister and I harmonized to in the Elementary School Talent Show way back in those younger years. All the songs seem somehow familiar; they take me by the heart and hand, and once again, I find myself singing out loud; dancing down memory lane, completely hooked on ''Hillbilly Fever''!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why does it have to end? Wish it were longer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best CD's I have ever purchased. This compilation of songs have been dug out from the depths of the best American southern music. A true music fantasy to bend a ear to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This soundtrack has a wonderful mix of bluegrass and gospel. It was wonderful to hear Alison Krauss's beautiful Voice on this soundtrack. A must have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are sick and tired of the ''Same O'- Same O''' and want to hear some REAL music. You have to check this out. This is a facinating collection of music. If you have ever thought of just tasting bluegrass, nibble on this! It will leave you wanting more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hello, I guess that my age can account for my taste and opinion, I am 15, but I thought that it was a very good movie , it made you think about life and how different people can persive life and the different paths that you can take . It was very funny and the humor was thought up very well. The actors did not only bring you into to mississippi in that era but they brought you into the life they led, being the runaways they were. I would recomend this movie to anyone that wants or needs a laugh and who enjoys southern accents.The first time that I had heard the music and I haden't seen the movie I did not enjoy it but now that I have seen the movie I am quite hooked on the soundtrack. Especialy the soggy bottom boys songs. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was raised in a very rural part of the south, so naturally I, and most of my friends, and I can relate to these guys. I've virtually never laughed as much at a movie in my life, but there were also parts of it that made tears come to my eyes. The music was wonderful. It fit every scene perfectly. I'm not very good with words, and I've never written anything like this before, but I was so moved buy this movie, I had to put in my two cents worth. Thanks for this oportunity.