Recording information: Electro Magnetic Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Stepbridge Studios, Santa Fe, NM; The Village Recorder, Los Angeles, CA.
Editor: Jason Wormer.
Photographer: Lorey Sebastian.
The soundtrack for Crazy Heart was produced by T Bone Burnett and contains 16 songs from the film starring Jeff Bridges. The movie is dedicated to Stephen Bruton, the legendary Texas musician, and a lifelong friend of Burnett's, wrote or co-wrote most of the original music performed by Bridges and Ryan Bingham. Bruton died from cancer shortly after finishing the project. While officially based on a book by Thomas Cobb, the film took just as much of its inspiration from the life of Bruton, who lived the life that Bridges' Bad Blake did for over three decades. Musically it's the performances by Bridges that are the most arresting here. He can deliver a rollicking honky tonk song ("Somebody Else"), a lost-on-the-highway-of-life road song ( the punchy blues rocker "Fallin and Flyin'"), a love song ("Hold on You"), or a weeper (the Greg Brown-penned "Brand New Angel") with the requisite amount of bravado and grit, and tenderness of a seasoned country artist. Bingham, a songwriter and relative newcomer, proves himself a worthy counterpart in his performances --especially on the film's theme song, "The Weary Kind." The soundtrack also gifts the listener with a worldweary a capella performance of Billy Joe Shaver's "Live Forever," by Robert Duvall, and a hardcore trucker anthem in "Gone Gone Gone," by Colin Farrell! There's also a killer duet version of "Fallin & Flyin'" by Farrell and Bridges. The rest of the set is filled out with cuts by Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, the Louvin Brothers, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Sam Phillips -- the female songwriter, not the Sun Records founder. The original tunes are played by a cast including Burnett, Bruton, Greg Leisz, Jay Bellerose, Buddy Miller, Dennis Crouch, Joel Guzman, Thomas Canning, and Patrick Warren. The catalog material is well-chosen and not obvious, adding much to the listening experience. [There is also a deluxe edition that contains seven more cuts by various other artists sequenced in the order they appeared in the film providing the full soundtrack.] ~ Thom Jurek
Rolling Stone (p.60) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[F]leshed out with choice modern and vintage offerings from Lucinda Williams, Kitty Wells and Tejano pioneer Linda Mendoza."
Entertainment Weekly (p.67) - "[R]elative newcomer Ryan Bingham is the soundtrack's real scene-stealer..."
Billboard (p.33) - "'Fallin' & Flyin' finds Bridges and Farrell joining forces for an effortlessly tuneful honky-tonk gem..."