T Bone Burnett, the oft-honored producer of the soundtracks to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” is about to take a busman’s holiday that may see his return to recording for the first time in 10 years.
A well-regarded performer and recording artist in the 1980s, Burnett has focused on producing the last two decades (Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, etc.) and much of his songwriting has been for Sam Shepard plays. Burnett will be taking something of a sabbatical for the next six months, and his lone project — as of now — is to record the 30-40 songs he wrote for Shepard’s “The Late Henry Moss,” “Mother Courage and Her Children” and “Tooth of Crime.”
Burnett has purchased the soundboard that the Rolling Stones used for the recording of “Exile on Main Street” in 1972 and installed it at his home for the Shepard sessions. Earlier this year, Burnett founded a record label, the Columbia-distribbed DMZ, with his “O Brother” filmmaking partners, Joel and Ethan Coen. So, should he decide to release the recordings, finding an interested label won’t be difficult. Burnett’s last album was 1992’s “The Criminal Under My Own Hat.”