NASHVILLE Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Norman Blake will be the permanent nucleus of the Down From the Mountain Tour set to start in late January.
Other acts slotted for specific dates along the way include the Fairfield Four, the Cox Family and the Peasall Sisters. The final schedule for the nationwide tour, which will likely last for about a month, is expected within a week or so.
Inspired by and featuring many of the musicians on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, the tour takes its name from the D.A. Pennebaker/Chris Hegedus documentary on the making of the soundtrack. A second album involving members of the "O Brother" musical cast, released in June, is also tagged Down From the Mountain.
Immortal Management of Santa Monica, California, is organizing the tour. Hal Paris, spokesman for Immortal, said that the troupe will play venues of 2,000 to 5,000 seats. Ticket prices have yet to be set.
Instead of providing their own backup bands, the tour's headliners will use a common band made up primarily of players from the Nashville Bluegrass Band and Krauss' Union Station ensemble.
The Cox Family's patriarch, Willard Cox, was severely injured in a traffic accident after the soundtrack was recorded and has been unable to tour since. Still confined to a wheelchair, Cox was able to make an appearance when the album cast played Carnegie Hall in June. Paris said Cox's condition when the tour gets under way will determine the act's degree of participation.
Paris confirmed that his company is also working on launching a series of all-day events for the summer that will feature, in addition to "O Brother" soundtrack performers, other well-known bluegrass and acoustic musicians. "We're not eliminating the 'O Brother' cast [from consideration]," Paris explained, "but we'd like to expand it much more."