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Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture [Soundtrack]

Allison Moorer, David Mansfield, Rosanne Cash, Emmy Rossum, Dolly Parton, Maria McKee, Patty LovelessAudio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

Price: $12.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture + Songcatcher + Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie
Price for all three: $36.54

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • ASIN: B00005B50H
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,208 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fair And Tender Ladies - Roseanne Cash
2. Pretty Saro - Iri DeMent
3. When Love Is New - Dolly Parton & Emmy Rossum
4. Barbara Allen - Emmy Rossum
5. Barbara Allen - Emmylou Harris
6. Moonshiner - Allison Moorer
7. Sounds Of Loneliness - Patty Loveless
8. All My Tears - Julie Miller
9. Wayfarin' Stranger - Maria McKee
10. Mary Of The Wild Moor - Sara Evans
11. Wind And Rain - Gillian Welch, David Rawlings & David Steele
12. The Cuckoo Bird - Deana Carter
13. Score Suite #1 - David Mansfield
14. Conversations With Death - Hazel Dickens, David Patrick Kelly & Bobby McMillen
15. Score Suite #2 - David Mansfield
16. Single Girl - Pat Carrolls

Editorial Reviews

Maybe they should have subtitled this album O Sister, Where Art Thou? Like the music from the Coen brothers' O Brother... movie, Songcatcher celebrates the emotional purity of mountain music, the acoustic balladry of the Appalachians--only this soundtrack features an all-female assemblage. Among the luminaries who shine the brightest: Rosanne Cash, who sets the tone with the album-opening "Fair and Tender Ladies"; Julie Miller, whose original "All My Tears" could pass as an old spiritual; Patty Loveless, who returns to her Kentucky roots with "Sounds of Loneliness"; and Gillian Welch, who leads an a cappella rendition of "Wind and Rain." Of the more familiar material, Emmylou Harris seems like she's coasting through the oft-revived "Barbara Allen" while Maria McKee sounds like she's singing for her life on "Wayfarin' Stranger." Yet the emphasis throughout is less on vocal virtuosity than on the stark simplicity of the songs, the album more impressive as an ensemble piece than a showcase for individual singers. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
205 of 208 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It's always disappointing--jolting, really--when you buy the soundtrack to something and find that it bears no resemblance to what you loved in the film. The most glaring example I can think of is the "When Harry Met Sally" soundtrack, which in the theatres featured gorgeous standards rendered by people like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong--but on the CD, has Harry Connick, Jr. singing the same tunes. I like Harry Connick, Jr., but he's not the reason I wanted the "Harry Met Sally" soundtrack.
Such is the case with "Songcatcher," which had lots of great songs sung by the actors in the movie--Emmy Rossum, Pat Carroll, Iris Dement, and more. What you have on the CD is a grouping of some of the same songs, all performed by greater-known lights of country and bluegrass music--people like Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton. I'm not complaining--they do a super job, and they know this kind of music, so their renditions are heartfelt and gorgeous to listen to. It's just not the same as the music in the film, so it's a little disconcerting.
Iris Dement's upright rendition of "Pretty Saro," on which her wiry, plaintive voice is accompanied only by a fiddle, is particularly fine and just as she sang it in the film. And newcomer Emmy Rossum's warm and vigorous version of the quietly horrifying "Barbara Allen" is gorgeous, but it is just one verse leading into Emmylou Harris doing the same song. Frankly, I prefer Emmy Rossum's less prettified version and wish they'd kept it instead of having it segue into Harris. Rossum was in her early teens when she recorded this, but she has a vocal maturity that leaves you wanting more.
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177 of 187 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Songcatcher "Soundtrack" Totally Misses the Point! August 29, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Like another of the above reviewers, I left the theater after seeing this stunningly moving film and drove directly to the music store to buy the soundtrack CD. I was hoping that the music featured in the film would be presented as it was in the movie, maybe even with extended versions of some of the shorter selections included (as was done on the O Brother soudtrack). It is an understatement to say that I was extremely let down!
The music on this CD is disappointing on two levels. The theme of the movie is that a professor of folklore and traditional music travels from Britain to Appalachia to search out and record the regional music of the area, much of which was brought over from the British Isles, and which because of the relative isolation of the area has been preserved in a condition closer to its "roots" than the music being "collected" in Britain. The professor begins collecting the tunes in a very academic/scientific manner, and she ends up completely captivated by the stark beauty of the music and the soul of the local people. Over the course of the movie she falls in love with the music for its own sake, rather than for any academic value it might have, and she becomes dedicated to trying to preserve and promote the music in its natural state, and to prevent its exploitation.
The music on this CD (except for a few "token" tracks and snippets) is mostly commercial, Nashville-influenced music, recorded in a manner that in no way reflects the spirit of the movie.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The roots of American music July 19, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This CD, part movie soundtrack, part separate compilation is a wonderful introduction to the early rural roots of American country music before it went suburban and became watered down Muzak al la Faith Hill and Shania Twain. Like the soundtrack to the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou," it recalls a time when music was enjoyed for its own sake, and not solely drive by spreadsheets and profit margins.
But "Songcatcher" actually predates "O Brother" in that the songs that are here are either hundreds of years old ("Fair and Tender Maidens," "Pretty Saro," "Barbara Allen," "Wind and Rain," etc.) or originals heavily influenced by the style the movie and this CD seek to pay homage to ("When Love is New," "All My Tears," etc). These are the old ballads that were sung in rural England in the 16th and 17th centuries and brought over with the English settlers when they settled the southern Appalachians. By the early 20th century, when the movie is set, these ballads had mostly died out in England and in urban American, but survived in the mountains. Folklorists, such as Cecil Sharp and Olive Dame Campbell (among others) helped to see that these ballads were preserved thought their efforts of collecting them. Their efforts helped to inspire the movie "Songcatcher."
These old ballads are part of the roots of American country music. The mountain ballads eventually mixed with other genres to form bluegrass and bluegrass, of course, is a significant sub-genre of country music. At a time when Nashville has sold its soul to the highest bidder, the success of the "O Brother" soundtrack is most welcome, and the efforts of "Songcatcher," both the film and this wonderful CD, are helping to remind people just where that music came from.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Bought music instead of movie
Published 1 day ago by Renee Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars ahhh music
I was worried about only having two songs off the movie, but they are great. the others have that soul to them as well. great disc! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Melanie rose Little
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the film's soundtrack, but....
As I comment on the one star reviews for this CD.... I agree that the tracks on this CD is a let-down for those expecting to hear the Old Time renditions of the songs as heard in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bon Vivant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music-plus- from the movie by same name
Had to order this cd after hearing some of it in the movie by the same name. (Great movie, by the way) This cd is terrific if one likes and appreciates old time... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Trudy
3.0 out of 5 stars just okay
I am not as big a fan as I thought I was. I like some of her songs but don;t care to hear a whole bunch in a row. Not too bad but not my favorite.
Published 3 months ago by Jeri 907
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Lovely selection of Appalachian songs,, beautiful women's voices. Rare songs like "Single Girl" were very much appreciated, as well as a gorgeous rendition of "Fair... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Reader from Mayland
3.0 out of 5 stars It was music of the time and place, but
I saw this film in school and loved the sound of the mountain music. I also read the reviews that it was not music from the movie and really wondered what it was all about. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christina Packard
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
Saw the movie so I had to have the cd. just wish that it had more of the movies songs on it.
Published 8 months ago by William Anaya
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible introduction to folk ballads
This album brings together folk and country legends to present folk ballads in a fresh manner, while maintaining the essence of the traditional arrangements. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amy H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Some of the songs are not in the film but the music is still breath taking! I recommend it to all lovers of folk/mountain music!
Published 9 months ago by Soapbox81
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