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New Release Review - Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis

Concert film utilising songs featured in the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis.

Directed by: Christopher Wilcha
Featuring: The Punch Brothers, Jack White, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, T Bone Burnnet, Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Oscar Isaac


If the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis was as good as you had hoped it would be, and you want to revisit some of the feel and the sound of it, then Another Day, Another Time will tide you over until your next viewing. Filmed one September night last year in New York Town Hall, this concert film showcases a line up of celebrated bluegrass, folk and country performers. The film and show were produced by T Bone Burnett, who oversaw the music for the original movie, and who also made an impression lately by producing the music for the HBO mystery thriller True Detective.
The focus of the film is the concert itself, but there are frequent detours: brief interviews with the performers or, especially striking, the lingering glimpses we are given into the rehearsal process. It’s interesting to see Burnett presiding over these practise sessions, and the meet and greet element as people feel out the right arrangements for songs, or try and overcome their obvious sense of being star-struck as they meet and mingle with Patti Smith or Joan Baez. Marcus Mumford is very frank about the weirdness of these jams, for him at least. Burnett walks the rehearsal room holding what I guess is a burning roll of sage leafs, cleansing the atmosphere with native American folk magic, which is a great theatrical touch if nothing else.
If you have an eclectic taste in music, or are a folkie, you’ll enjoy this film. The musicians have to pay attention to each other closely as they play, keeping up to the standard devised by Burnett’s ear and their own sensibilities. As well as the show itself, the film-making is very laid back and fluid, showing us backstage performances that discharge the tension. Inside Llewyn Davis lead Oscar Isaac takes to the stage to show he really has the chops.
Stand-out performances for me were ‘In the Sky’ by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, and ‘See them Tumbling Down’ (the latter features over the titles of The Big Lebowski, a nice little easter egg for the Coen fanbase), which The Punch Brothers open the show with. Special mention also goes to Rihannon Giddens and The Lake Street Dive band, who I really enjoyed.
If you hate bluegrass, alt-country, folk, skiffle or ragtime-y sounds, this might be unbearable but if you’re not sure how you feel, give it a try, you’ll probably be surprised.
7/10


Rúairí Conneely

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