Just when the Coen Brothers create a masterpiece loosely based on The Odyssey, they also reference a lot of great music from the past. The soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? is absolutely perfect for the movie! The ability of Joel and Ethan Coen to match beautiful cinematography and wonderful music goes simply unmatched in Hollywood.

Incoming Spoilers!

Here are some historical Coenisms in this movie:
  • Robert Johnson gets some homage from the character Tommy Johnson. Played by Chris Thomas King, an actual bluesman, Johnson is picked up at a crossroads where he sold his soul to the devil for musical ability.
  • "Keep On The Sunny Side" and "Lonesome Valley" are on the soundtrack which are a distinguishing songs by the Carter Family, a godfamily of country and folk music
  • The pardoning of the Soggy Bottom Boys alluded to Governor Patt Neff's pardoning of Leadbelly. Leadbelly wrote a song to the governor of Texas and was pardoned.
  • "Man of Constant Sorrow" is covered by the Soggy Bottom Boys in the movie. That song was written by the Stanley Bothers and Ralph Stanley sings "O Death" for the soundtrack, the KKK song.
  • "You are my Sunshine" is on the soundtrack and that song was actually written by Governor Jimmie Davis, O'Daniel has the Soggy Bottom Boys sing that on stage in the end.

The Coen Brothers take time and pay attention to so many details when creating their art. O Brother, Where Art Thou? shows their abilities in a way they have never been displayed before. "Big Rock Candy Mountain" plays while the cast rolls in the beginning. That sets you up for the movie. Actually, the O Brother, Where Art Thou official site is giving away the soundtrack in a limited edition Dapper Dan CD case. Dapper Dan is George Clooney's choice of pomade in the movie.