Remember the 2000 film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’? The soundtrack launched a resurgence of interest in American traditional and bluegrass music that continues to this day. The Coen brothers who made that film have now made another that looks at the early 60s Greenwich Village folk scene. Called ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ the main character is loosely based on Dave Van Ronk.
There will also be a soundtrack album that carries the same name. Performers include Oscar Isaac (who plays Llewyn Davis), Justin Timberlake, Marcus Mumford, Stark Sands, the Punch Brothers, Carey Mulligan, Adam Driver, and the Downhill Strugglers.
Track titles that you may recognise include ‘Last Thing On My Mind’ ‘Five Hundred Miles’ ‘Green, Green Rocky Road’ ‘The Death of Queen Jane’ ‘The Roving Gambler’ ‘Shoals Of Herring’ and ‘The Auld Triangle’
You can listen to some of them here. In all honesty the Punch Brothers sing ‘The Auld Triangle’ with Mumford and Timberlake joining in on the chorus.
Most of the album showcases recordings made specifically for the movie, but Inside Llewyn Davis closes with a nicely chosen pair of archival recordings. One, a previously unreleased recording of Bob Dylan performing “Farewell,” provides a nice reminder of what came out of the scene the fictional Llewyn Davis occupied. The other winds down the proceedings with Van Ronk doing “Green, Green Rocky Road.” Isaac performs the song elsewhere in Inside Llewyn Davis, but if Van Ronk’s life indeed inspired the film — his music was farther-reaching and considerably more idiosyncratic — it only makes sense that he’d get the last word in edgewise.
Here is a trailer for the film which is released in the UK on January 24, 2014. The soundtrack album is being released about now.