O Brother, Where Art Thou? Artists To Tour

Roots music album sparks bluegrass revival.

Country music’s surprise success story of 2001 continues to build and expand that success.

The double-platinum soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” became two concerts, a documentary film of one concert and a soundtrack of that film. Next, it’s being planned as a national tour.

Patty Loveless is expected to join original O Brother contributors Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, Norman Blake and Alison Krauss and Union Station on a 20-city U.S. tour in January and February.

A concert by the soundtrack cast at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium last year was followed by one at Carnegie Hall earlier this year, though plans for a Hollywood Bowl show had to be scrapped due to scheduling difficulties. Nashville representatives of several artists from the soundtrack say booking agents are exploring tour possibilities and schedules for an outing to run from January 25 to February 23. No dates or cities are set.

Drawn from the Coen Brothers’ movie of the same name, O Brother exploded the Nashville shibboleth that bluegrass doesn’t sell. The album has dominated the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for much of this year, is #1 on that chart and is #1 on the Billboard Top Soundtracks chart.

The Ryman Auditorium concert last year was filmed for the documentary “Down From the Mountain.” The accompanying soundtrack, Down From the Mountain: Live Concert Performances by the Artists & Musicians of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, entered the Top Country Albums chart dated August 11 at #10.

Building on a bluegrass revival, the group Nickel Creek’s debut album has been a top 20 Billboard album, has charted for 34 weeks and has gotten extensive CMT coverage. Bluegrass AC/DC tribute band Hayseed Dixie’s debut album has been on the Billboard country albums chart for 15 weeks. Country veteran Loveless’ recent return to the music of her Kentucky youth with Mountain Soul has drawn glowing reviews. Also represented on the Billboard chart are roots albums by the Del McCoury Band, Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris.