I chose Down from the Mountain as my viewing choice for the evening. It’s a documentary about a concert of music from and inspired by the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou.
I didn’t realize until I got five minutes in that the concert was exactly 19 years ago today. It was literally an unplanned, spur of the moment choice.
Also, fans of Roots and Americana music can probably point to the movie soundtrack and this concert as one of the watershed moments for the genre. It seems to me that perhaps there was no such genre until O Brother, Where Art Thou.
It’s really a fantastic documentary filled with some of my favorite artists. Where else do you get Emmylou Harris, Allison Kraus, and Gillian Welch singing together? Or the Fairfield Four? Or the Cox Family? The music is sublime, at once a throwback to a simpler time and something entirely new.
I keep hoping next year the powers that be will release a 20th anniversary edition with extra footage of the concert and behind the scenes moments. Also, they could throw in a tribute to those we’ve lost, like Dr. Ralph Stanley and John Hartford.
Somebody needs to make that happen.