You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside move: ‘O Brother,’ tour art thou

Popular soundtrack performers embark on 18-city gig

A soundtrack that’s never had a song played on commercial radio has become a cottage industry.

Artists appearing on the Mercury-issued CD for “O Brother Where Art Thou,” which has already sold 2.5 million copies, are heading out on an 18-city tour beginning Jan. 25 in Lexington, Ky. and finishing Feb. 20 in Berkeley, Calif. Performing the bluegrass and mountain music of the soundtrack will be Alison Krauss & Union Station, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley, the Whites, Norman and Nancy Blake, Chris Thomas King, Bob Neuwirth, the Peasall Sisters and the Nashville Bluegrass Band.

The acts have performed together twice — in June at Carnegie Hall and more than a year ago at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the latter event filmed for the “O Brother” spun docu “Down From the Mountain” and also released on CD by Mercury (it has sold about 120,000 copies).

Cabler CMT has spun things further to create the half-hour show “O Brother & Beyond: Music Down From the Mountain,” which began airing Nov. 3 and continues through Nov. 7. And on Nov. 7, the CMA Awards telecast on CBS will feature a tribute to the soundtrack, which is up for four awards, among them album and single of the year.

While the music, assembled for the soundtrack by producer-performer T-Bone Burnett, is rural Americana at its simplest, the assemblage of the tour has been anything but.

Several of the acts had expressed interest in doing “O Brother”-related dates soon after the release of the film starring George Clooney, but the artists’ recording and touring commitments posed too many conflicts last year.

Since “O Brother’s” release — and domination of the country albums chart — Krauss, Loveless and Harris have released new albums, 74-year-old banjoist Stanley has been relentlessly on tour and King is beginning a string of dates with the Muddy Waters All-Stars.

To bring the tour together required the combined energies of Immortal Entertainment Group, UTA, Metropolitan Entertainment and House of Blues Concerts. Shows, which include stops at Radio City Music Hall Jan. 29 and Universal Amphitheatre in L.A. Feb. 17, are being presented by Burnett and Joel and Ethan Coen, who wrote and directed the film.

More Music

  • Barry Manilow illustration by Ben Kirchner

    Barry Manilow Reflects on Early Career, New York Talent Show 'Callback,' and Featherbed

    Barry Manilow’s place as one of America’s best-loved entertainers was secured decades ago, but the 75-year-old shows no signs of resting on his laurels, which include nearly 50 top 40 hits, beaucoup gold and platinum albums, sold-out tours, an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony and a Clio. His 21st century accomplishments include more SRO dates, [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    R. Kelly Ask for More Time on Dubai Travel Request

    R. Kelly’s court hearing on Friday morning produced little of substance, as the singer’s attorney Steve Greenberg asked the judge to delay a ruling on his request to travel to Dubai to perform several still-unconfirmed concerts next month. After the hearing, another Kelly attorney, Doug Anton, said the singer’s team is preparing contracts for the [...]

  • Jenny Lewis

    Album Review: Jenny Lewis' 'On the Line'

    Early on in her new record, Jenny Lewis warns us that Mercury’s retrograde wrath is far from over. Her cautionary words form the conceit of “Wasted Youth,”  a lament dressed in melody and charm. With the prospect of planetary bad luck looming, Lewis spends the chorus listing some of the ways in which we doom [...]

  • 'This Isn’t Spinal Tap': Dishing the

    'This Isn't Spinal Tap': Dishing the Dirt on Motley Crue's Surprisingly Dark Biopic

    The new, eagerly awaited Motley Crue biopic, based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling 2001 book, “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,” premieres today on Netflix after a seemingly endless 13 years in development hell. Those anticipating “a fun ‘80s music movie,” as Crue bassist Nikki Sixx puts it, will inevitably be stunned [...]

  • Victoria Monet

    Hitmaker of the Month: Ariana Grande Collaborator Victoria Monét on 'Thank U, Next'

    Victoria Monét is what you’d call an all-around creative. A singer, songwriter and dancer, the Sacramento native is also among Ariana Grande’s go-to collaborators. Most recently, Monet had a hand in constructing Grande’s “Thank U, Next,” which topped the charts in multiple territories upon its November 2018 release, including the United States, the U.K., Australia, [...]

  • Tame Impala FYF Fest

    Tame Impala Drop House-y New Single 'Patience' (Listen)

    Australia’s Tame Impala tend to switch things up with each album, but we’d have to say that an infusion of house music and Philadelphia soul were not what we were expecting. The group — which, in the studio, is essentially frontman Kevin Parker — has delivered what may be their most infectious single yet with “Patience,” [...]

  • Danny Bennett, Tony Bennett, Sir Lucian

    Verve President Danny Bennett Steps Down as UMG Restructures Jazz and Classical Divisions

    Verve Label Group president/CEO Danny Bennett has stepped down, Universal Music Group announced Thursday. Oversight of Verve will be taken over by Dickon Stainer, president/CEO of Universal Classics and Jazz, who will add the labels to a stable that already includes heading up Deutsche Grammophon and the Decca Label Group. The restructuring was cited by the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content