Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture

October 12, 2016 - Comment

Maybe they should have subtitled this album O Sister, Where Art Thou? Like the music from the Coen brothers’ O Brother… movie, Songcatcher celebrates the emotional purity of mountain music, the acoustic balladry of the Appalachians–only this soundtrack features an all-female assemblage. Among the luminaries who shine the brightest: Rosanne Cash, who sets the tone

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Maybe they should have subtitled this album O Sister, Where Art Thou? Like the music from the Coen brothers’ O Brother… movie, Songcatcher celebrates the emotional purity of mountain music, the acoustic balladry of the Appalachians–only this soundtrack features an all-female assemblage. Among the luminaries who shine the brightest: Rosanne Cash, who sets the tone with the album-opening “Fair and Tender Ladies”; Julie Miller, whose original “All My Tears” could pass as an old spiritual; Patty Loveless, who returns to her Kentucky roots with “Sounds of Loneliness”; and Gillian Welch, who leads an a cappella rendition of “Wind and Rain.” Of the more familiar material, Emmylou Harris seems like she’s coasting through the oft-revived “Barbara Allen” while Maria McKee sounds like she’s singing for her life on “Wayfarin’ Stranger.” Yet the emphasis throughout is less on vocal virtuosity than on the stark simplicity of the songs, the album more impressive as an ensemble piece than a showcase for individual singers. –Don McLeese

Comments

lawyeraau says:

A VERY GOOD CD THAT COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT… I saw the film “Songcatcher” and loved it. So, I went ahead and bought the cd. I should have realized that a cd that says that it contains music from and inspired by the motion picture would be a cop-out. Instead of plenty of that old-timey mountain music found in the movie, the producers of this cd decided to be more homogenous about the album. The result is an album that barely gives the listener a taste of the music that made the film so popular, leaving the listener who has seen the film…

Peter Durward Harris says:

Traditional mountain music nicely updated This is the kind of music that was sung in the mountains of Appalachia long before recorded music was available. Most likely it was sung unaccompanied, but on this album there is some backing music, sparse though it is. In the modern age, this is about as close as you can get to traditional mountain music while still appealing to a wider public.I have not seen the movie, but I understand that the songs here were often recorded by different people than those who actually sang them in the…

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