Well, dawgy! 'O Brother' meets the hit makers

Pop Music

March 03, 2002|By Sun Staff

Now that a holler-ful of Grammy awards have made "real" country, bluegrass and American roots music officially cool, not to mention marketable, it surely won't be long before musical offerings like these will be showing up at a CD rack near you:

* O Death Meets Ol' Blue Eyes: Ralph Stanley Sings the Sinatra Songbook -- If you loved Ralph's haunting rendition of "O Death" from the Coen Bros. O Brother Where Art Thou? (and who didn't love that movie?!), you'll love this new disc. Ralph's twangy interpretations make even "That's Why the Lady Is a Tramp" and "The Summer Wind" sound like "O Death" warmed over.

* Wailin' with Waylon: Kid Rock Duets with the late Waylon Jennings -- Natalie Cole singing "Unforgettable" with her father's disembodied, digitally remastered voice made you weep. Now rap-rock's outlaw Kid makes you smile as he teams up on vocals with the late, great Highwayman himself on "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and other favorite hits.

* The New Look of High Lonesome: Alison Krauss gets the Diana Krall makeover -- Not that the chanteuse of the truck stop is hard on the eyes now, but as Krall's handlers have proved, if your star is going to cross over, emphasizing talent over titillation is just not going to get it done.

* The Back Street Soggy Bottom Boys (with guest artists Nelly and Nelly Furtado): Tunes for Teens and Truck Drivers -- When teen pop's hottest heartthrobs team up with the fictional-turned-famous pickers from O Brother, it's harmonies like you've only imagined. Rapper Nelly shows the Boys what real "Country Grammar" is all about, and Nelly Furtado ... well, Nelly Furtado just needed the gig.

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