O Brother, Where Art Thou? – A Country Music Review

Back in 2000 I went to see the Coen Brothers movie of the same name and even though George Clooney was just as much of a progressive jerk back then as now I enjoyed the movie immensely.  So, I bought the movie soundtrack sometime in early 2001 and listened to it from time to time.  Then 9/11 happened and I found myself listening to that album over and over.  One song especially, “Angel Band,” seemed soothing and fit my mood.  About the same time, I was driving home from work, listening to the local classic rock station and it struck me that I had heard the same six songs on the way home for the last six months and just couldn’t stand to hear them again.  So, I tried a few of the other rock stations and realized they were playing exactly the same songs.  In desperation I clicked around to see what else was playing.  Eventually I stumbled on a country music station and by some weird coincidence they were playing Angel Band!  I took it as a divine intervention and from then on, I switched to country music.

So that may explain why I have an exaggerated regard for “O Brother Where Art Though.”  But undoubtedly it is a very good album.  Even the songs that are not strictly country fit the mood of the collection.  My favorite songs in the collection are:

  • Down to the River to Pray (Alison Krauss)
  • I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (Dick Burnett)
  • Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby (Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch)
  • Indian War Whoop (John Hartford)
  • Angel Band (The Stanley Brothers)

I’ll review the movie separately but I don’t think it’s necessary to watch the movie to enjoy the music but it does add an extra dimension to the experience which I recommend.