The country tie-ins are not so numerous on the newest film soundtrack from T Bone Burnett. This time around, the Grammy-winning producer of O Brother, Where Art Thou? turns primarily to Cajun and blues music to create regional ambience for Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, set in Louisiana and based on the 1996 novel by Rebecca Wells.
Out Tuesday (May 28) on DMZ/Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax (DMZ is the co-venture between Burnett, the Coen Brothers and Sony), the set includes a track by Alison Krauss , but she is the only holdover from the soundtrack cast of O Brother. Krauss performs “Sitting in the Window of My Room,” based on a French folksong. She has made a video for the song.
Bob Dylan and Lauryn Hill each have written new songs for Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Dylan, who enlisted Burnett for his Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975, contributes “Waitin’ for You.” Hill, former member of the Fugees, offers “Selah.”
Ann Savoy contributes three Cajun tunes: “C’est Si Triste,” “Lulu Revenue Dans la Village” and “C’est un Peche de Dire un Mentire.” Savoy was consultant to the PBS American Roots series and recently produced Vanguard’s Evangeline Made: A Tribute to Cajun Music.
Three blues tunes come from the late Jimmy Reed: “Found Love,” “Little Rain” and “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby?” One is by Slim Harpo: “I Got Love if You Want It.”
Macy Gray does Billie Holiday’s “I Want to Be Your Mother’s Son-in-Law”; Tony Bennett covers Nat King Cole’s “If Yesterday Could Only Be Tomorrow”; and Taj Mahal interprets Fats Waller’s “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now.”
O Brother, Where Art Thou? has shipped more than 6 million copies to stores and inspired a spinoff film and tour, Down From the Mountain, beginning its second leg June 25 in Louisville, Ky.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood stars Ashley Judd (sister of Wynonna and daughter of Naomi ), Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, James Garner and Maggie Smith. Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) directs. She is a longtime friend of country singer Pam Tillis, who will be in Los Angeles for the film’s premiere. The film opens nationwide June 7.