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T-Bone Burnett On World Cafe

Today's World Cafe guest is Grammy Award-winning producer and singer-songwriter T-Bone Burnett. Although he's been performing and producing since 1965, Burnett is perhaps best known these days for his role as music supervisor for the Coen Brother's 2001 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Burnett's soundtrack, which compiled originals and covers of folk and Americana music from the 1930, became a monumental bestseller and brought the music of the era, for the first time, into the contemporary mainstream. In 2001, it won the Grammy award for Album of the Year. It's now among the top 10 best-selling soundtrack albums of all time.

Today, the soundtrack is getting the 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition treatment with a bonus disk of material. To mark the occasion, David Dye spoke with Burnett about the process of revisiting and revamping the landmark record.

In this in-depth interview, among other topics, Burnett discusses working with the Coen Brothers and the influence Bob Dylan had on his approach to curating the soundtrack.

"[Dylan] was able to look at the beginning of the last century and compress those four decades into one — like compressing diamonds — an extraordinary explosion of rock'n'roll music. And he taught that to all of us," Burnett says.

Hear more, including songs from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? 10th anniversary re-issue, on today's World Cafe.

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