In 2000, the box office hit “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” caused a bluegrass revival of sorts. The movie soundtrack featured some of the genre’s greatest talents including Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, The Whites and Emmylou Harris.
Now certified more than eight-times platinum, the soundtrack’s biggest hit came from Dan Tyminski, longtime guitar player for Alison Krauss’s band Union Station. In the film, “Man of Constant Sorrow” was performed by fictional folk/bluegrass band The Soggy Bottom Boys headed up by George Clooney’s character, voiced by Tyminski.
Few may know that the popular song is actually more than a century old. “Man of Constant Sorrow” was originally titled “Farewell Song” and was credited to partially blind fiddler Dick Burnett. Over the years, numerous artists have covered variations of the tune including the Stanley Brothers and Bob Dylan.
It wasn’t until Dan Tyminski’s rendition for “O Brother, Where Art Thou” was released that the song found its greatest success. In addition to contributing to the multi-platinum success of the soundtrack, the song itself won a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration in 2002.
18 years ago Lost Highway released the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, featuring Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, The Whites, Gillian Welch, John Hartford, Ralph Stanley, The Cox Family, and Norman Blake. #MusicIsLegend pic.twitter.com/Y8vWG5xCyV
— Larry Pareigis (@larrypareigis) December 5, 2018
The song has received yet another remake, but it’s unlike anything that has been done before. Home Free released their stunning a cappella version of “Man of Constant Sorrow” in 2018.
Filmed in the heart of Dixie, the video honors the true spirit of the film and the group’s southern roots with the solemn ambiance of rural Alabama.
“We’ve taken this song all around the world this past year on tour,” baritone Adam Chance told Billboard of the cover. “It was inspiring to be able to bring it back home to Alabama, and really dig deep into the heart of it for our video.”
Hear Home Free’s haunting rendition of “Man of Constant Sorrow” in the video below.