Monday, February 02, 2015

T Bone Burnett's Americana: Part I

In 2000, even though I didn't know it, T Bone Burnett had entered my musical radar through the Coen brother's film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? I loved that movie and the music just jumped out and grabbed a lot of people, including me. I started listening to Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch, as I had similarly gotten turned on to people like Jesse Winchester and  Shawn Colvin over the years, by my longtime friend Mark Hunter. Mark, a fantastic musician himself (see his band The Waits), was the first person to introduce me to the term Americana music. It inspired me to start listening to people like John Prine, Leo Kottke and EmmyLou Harris again after many years. But now, there is a great new generation of Americana artists' that are making their way to the airwaves, through no small feat of the master collaborator himself, T Bone Burnett.

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T Bone Burnett has lifted Americana music to a state of popular consciousness by his genius and ability to assemble talented musicians and create some of the best music you can hear today. My awakening of Mr. Burnett, the man himself, was finally realized on the 2014 Showtime presentation of  Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis (see this link for future airing dates and On Demand - next showing, Feb. 4, at 8pm on Showtime). This documentary was a one time 2014 concert in New York City with background rehearsal sessions and interviews with Burnett and a host of Americana legends, stars and rising stars.

Here, I would like to feature my favorite song of that evening as this is one of those songs that just grabs your soul and doesn't let go for awhile. The song, I was Young When I Left Home was written by Bob Dylan and is performed here by Marcus Mumford. The documentary brings out the collaborative and creative process of Burnett, Mumford and cast of very talented players. This is simply beautiful and heartfelt as Marcus Mumford gives a memorable performance with Mr. Burnett's crafted guidance.

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