It’s not often that a movie sound track wins a Grammy for album of the year. (In fact, it’s only happened three times in history.) But O Brother, Where Art Thou? was so popular that it was widely acclaimed as not only one of the year’s best albums but one of the finest sound tracks in years. It weaves together bluegrass, country, blues and gospel and features some of each genre’s most soulful singers, including Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris. Krauss’s version of the church standard “I’ll Fly Away” is achingly beautiful, but the entire sound track is held together by the recurring “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.” An old folk song covered numerous times (it was even recorded by Bob Dylan in the early 1960s), the song becomes a hit for the film’s fictitious trio, the Soggy Bottom Boys (for the sound track, it was recorded by Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen and Pat Enright). A spare blues riff that ascends to incredible heights on the back of its subtly changing melody and soaring harmonies, it became a real-world hit as well, reaching No. 35 on the country charts.
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