Down From The Mountain

Down From The Mountain

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

As the celebration of a soundtrack, the Coen brothers and T Bone Burnett organised a concert for those who played on the film, O Brother Where Art Thou. It turned out to be a great deal more than an end-of-shoot wrap party.

Performed in a grand theatre in Nashville, packed to the rafters with fans and aficionados, the evening gave an insight into what is meant by the heart of country. Far from the showbiz sheen of mainstream topliners, such as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, they played traditional bluegrass and good old family harmonies, with fiddle and banjo and acoustic guitar. They even dressed for the occasion.

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At times, the music was sublime and the commitment absolute. A sense of shared experience encouraged co-operation. No one hogged the limelight, no one indulged in stageplay.

Alison Krauss's voice matched Emmylou Harris's beauty. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were entranced. Ralph Stanley brought the house to its feet before he had opened his mouth. John Hartford created magic with his violin. The Fairfield Four sang unaccompanied to the beat of their boots on the floor.

It felt like a privilege to be there, as if the heart of country is a private place, where only friends and family can go. However, this otherness was not exclusive, but embracing, thanks to the character and generosity of those who came to celebrate.

Reviewed on: 07 Aug 2001
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Nashville concert for those who played on the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou.
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Festivals:

EIFF 2001

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