Headliners Named for Down From the Mountain Tour

Patty Loveless , Ralph Stanley , Emmylou Harris , the Whites , Alison Krauss & Union Station and Norman Blake will be the permanent nucleus of the Down From the Mountain Tour set to start in late January. The final schedule is being confirmed and is expected to be announced within a week or so.

Other acts slotted for specific dates along the way include the Fairfield Four, the Cox Family and the Peasall sisters. Currently, it appears that the nationwide tour will be in progress for about a month.

Inspired by and featuring many of the musicians on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, the tour takes its name from the D. A. Pennebaker/Chris Hegedus documentary on the making of the soundtrack. A second album involving members of the O Brother musical cast, released in June, is also tagged Down From the Mountain.

Immortal Management of Santa Monica, Calif., is organizing the tour. Hal Paris, spokesman for Immortal, tells country.com that the troupe will play venues of 2,000 to 5,000 seats. Ticket prices, he adds, have yet to be set.

Instead of providing their own backup bands, the tour’s headliners will use a common band made up primarily of players from the Nashville Bluegrass Band and Krauss’ Union Station ensemble.

The Cox Family ’s patriarch, Willard Cox, was severely injured in a traffic accident after the soundtrack was recorded and has been unable to tour since. Still confined to a wheelchair, Cox was able to make an appearance when the album cast played Carnegie Hall in June. Paris says Cox’s condition when the tour gets underway will help determine the act’s degree of participation.

Paris confirmed that his company is also working on launching a series of all-day events for this summer that will feature, in addition to O Brother performers, other well-known bluegrass and acoustic musicians. “We’re not eliminating the O Brother cast [from consideration],” Paris explains, “but we’d like to expand it much more.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.