On The Line With… T-Bone Burnett
Where did your involvement in Crazy Heart begin?
You also took on the role of co-producer for the film. Does that speak to your personal connection to the story?
Were you the go-between then when it came to Jeff and Colin crafting their roles?
Did you have complete confidence in Jeff and Colin as singers?
On top of that, Robert Duvall’s participation is reminding people of how great he was in Tender Mercies.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ryan Bingham is someone still relatively new on the scene. Were you aware of his music?
It’s obviously tempting to hope that this soundtrack will cause a lot of people to rediscover great artists like Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt, much like the O Brother soundtrack did for old time music.
I’m not sure if ‘compulsion’ is the right word to describe your feelings toward keeping this music in the public consciousness, but do you feel that’s part of what drives you?
I think the most interesting aspect of Jeff’s performance is that his character almost seems like an American archetype now. Can you see that at all?
Yeah, I do see it a little bit. In a way, it’s a modern day cowboy — the solitary life, the outsider. I’ve felt very much that way my whole life, even though I haven’t been on the road touring. I’ve still felt alone my whole life, so I can certainly identify with that character. I think that yes, what Jeff created is a uniquely American figure.