Weeks out from theatrical release on Dec. 6, the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" has launched with the subtle noise of its soundtrack.
NPR is streaming the 14-song set in its entirety; making up half the songs are traditional folk tunes, and all featuring a diverse contributors, from the movie's principals Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, to the vocals of Marcus Mumford (of Mumford & Sons), producer T Bone Burnett and the Punch Brothers.
The connection to the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is obvious. Music drives both stories, and the songs stem from traditional origins. Acoustic instrumentation dominate both. And this one could possibly strike a chord with listeners like that 2000 set.
"OBWAT" was a sleeper hit on the charts, taking a whole year to reach No. 1 on The Billboard 200 -- an astounding feat for an album, let alone one cut with mostly bluegrass and country music from penned mostly out of the Great Depression. It aided the careers of those like Alison Krauss and mainstays like the Stanley Brothers, in shades of morose, mystical and jubilant; it's gone on to sell about 4.5 millions copies and yielded a re-release with an additional album of songs.
Timberlake, Mumford, the Punch Brothers' Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge and Gabe Witcher made the rounds this weekend with a stunning take on old tune "The Auld Triangle" by English-Irish poet Brendan Behan. In its language and it's close-to-the-mouth recording, it certainly hearkens the feelings of experiencing "O Brother" as a soundscape rather than as a mere movie.