MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE MOTION PICTURE SONGCATCHER
Like the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, Songcatcher is filled with old-time tunes updated by contemporary roots and country artists like Roseanne Cash, Deana Carter, and Patty Loveless, along with a few numbers taken directly from the film and sung by actors. The former show a deep appreciation for Appalachian murder ballads and English folk tunes, and they benefit from the lush production. Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and David Steele collaborate on a dark version of " Wind and Rain " ; Maria McKee breathes new life into the oft-covered " Wayfarin’ Stranger. "
But the real surprise here is the singing contributed by the actors themselves. Emmy Rossum is a true find: her clear-as-a-bell voice shines on both her version of " Barbara Allen " and in her duet with Dolly Parton, " When Love Is New. " Character actor David Patrick Kelly’s sharp twangy tenor blends surprisingly well with the voices of Hazel Dickens and Bobby McMillon on " Conversation with Death. " And singer/songwriter Iris DeMent reprises " Pretty Saro " from her scene in the movie. The only minor disappointment is the absence of a fine Taj Mahal instrumental number from the film. Other than that, it’s hard to question the wisdom of gathering voices like Emmylou Harris and Julie Miller to sing this music.
Issue Date: August 16 - 23, 2001