#BOTB: Man of Constant Sorrow

Hello, kittens & dawgs! I wanted to get a day jump-start on the first round of Battle of the Bands. I think a lot of y’all are taking part in the challenge, but if not then you ought to check it out to see if you’d like to get in on the action before sign up deadline.

Easter is a matter of days away. While I wanted a religious song for today’s inspiring dual, my brain went another direction. Maybe, it’s not too far off course, but this little song has nothing to do with the Son of man.

Man of Constant Sorrow is an American folk song. It’s speculated that Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler, from Kentucky wrote the song around 1913 and was the first to record the song under another name “Farewell Song”.

Soggy Bottom Boys brought new life to this song when O’ Brother Where Art Thou debuted in 2000. It was the first time I’d heard the song and it immediately struck my happy chord. The lyrics tell a sad story, but the bluegrass sound reminded me of my childhood. It’s fair to say, I won’t use this cover because I’m afraid too many of you feel the same as I do and it’ll be another run away victory.

Instead, I’m looking for something different to tickle your ears.  I’m pitting a band against a soloist in this edition. Who will win? It’s all up to y’all to decide. Let the battle begin!

I know you guys have heard of the American bluegrass-country band, Alison Krauss and Union Station. Of the bands in the genre, I found Alison & Company’s more to my liking than the older bluegrass-country style. They give the Soggy Bottom Boys a run with their cover.


My next pick absolutely took me totally by surprise, Rod Stewart ~ Rod the Mod would not have ever entered my mind as one to do this song. His bluesy rock sound and personal twist on this old-time diddy is worth throwing in the ring.



Okay, my two top choices did their thing center ring, now the rest is up to you!
[wwm_survey id=”6″]
Just for fun…In the past year, we got hooked on The Voice. Up until then, we weren’t fans of the show. The talent has always been below average to average, nothing special attracted us. However, last season drew us in with the fun camaraderie of the judges, especially between Levine and Shelton. So, we began watching regularly. This season Sawyer Fredericks performed Man of Constant Sorrow for his first audition and I thought I’d share it with you, but it’s not part of today’s battle.

Okay, visit STMcCP to get the 411 on how Battle of the Bands works, but those who know what to do then it’s time to play along with the other members!

I’ll have the results next week this time posted in my side menu as a sticky note. I invite you to check back to see, if your pick gets named the winner. Thanks so much. Until we meet again, have a bandtastic day. Oh yeah, I hope to see you tomorrow for my first installment of #AprilA2Z! 😉


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10 thoughts on “#BOTB: Man of Constant Sorrow

  1. Robin

    Hey Cathy,

    I saw Alison Krauss & Union Station in concert back in 2005. They sang this song and told the audience that Dan Kyminski (the guy you’re listening to sing this song) actually sang lead vocals with the Soggy Bottom Boys for the film O’ Brother, Where Art Thou. So, there is a reason he gives the Soggy Bottom Boys a run for their money (he was the voice of the Soggy Bottom Boys for this song and the film). Had you run this song up against the Soggy Bottom Boys (from the film) it would have been a battle of Dan Kyminski vs. Dan Kyminski (with different folks doing the instrumentation).

    Of course, Dan Kyminski is the voice for Man of Constant Sorrow and is unbeatable in my opinion. Ergo, I vote for Dan Kyminski (and Alison Krauss). Sorry Rod.

  2. Mike Spain

    Rod’s version surprised me. I thought he did a good job. Though the song was a bit different for him. The song was in Union Station’s ballpark and they hit a home run. My vote goes to Alison.

  3. Stephen T. McCarthy

    Oh, cathy, Cathy, CATHY!
    I’ll eat my Stetson if you don’t wind up with a shutout here.

    I think the Soggy Bottom Boys vs. Alison Krauss & Union Station might have been a pretty close contest. But my vote was going to AK&US within 45 seconds of listening to Rod.

    As for the movie, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, I loved it. I really dislike loony George Clooney, but where I worked, I kept finding this movie playing on the TV in the lunch room. I had no idea what it was, or what it was about, but I kept catching various scenes at different times, and every scene grabbed my attention and amused me.

    So, I finally decided I had to find out the title of that movie and watch it. I did and I loved it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve yet heard anyone anywhere say they disliked it.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      I don’t think you’re gonna have to worry about eating your Stetson. I sorts thought going into this battle with my picks that Alison Krauss & Boys would be the clear winner, but I was sure someone would like the contemporary pop style of Rod. I definitely prefer AK, but Rod’s version is listenable and not horrible or anything. The thing is this song HAS to be done with a bluegrass flavor to make it work. Speaking of the O’Brother Where Art Thou, I thought as you put it loony George Clooney did a fabulous job in the movie. In fact, I told DH he almost reminds me of Daddy a wee bit. I think it has something to do with the 1930s Dapper Dan look. Daddy use to grease his hair when he was a young man. Anywho, thanks for casting your vote, Stephen!

  4. Far Away Eyes

    I actually kind of like Rod Steward most times, but here YIKES! IMO, he really did a hatchet job on this song.

    I give a loud and clear vote to Alison Krauss and Union Station and not just as the lesser of two weevils. They gave a perfect rendition of this blue grass favorite.

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Rod has a unique style and he does bring it to this song, but it just can’t cut it like the Kentucky bluegrass sound of AK & Co or Soggy Bottom Boys. I took a gamble to see, if the odd show down would yield any votes for the old, boy from UK!

  5. Rorybore

    oh my gosh I LOVE that movie and the Soggy Bottom Boys would have definitely got my vote – hands down. But between Krauss and Rod, I am definitely going with the Krauss version. the song just needs to have that blue grass sound and feel to it. as much as I like Rod, it’s just not a rock vibe.

  6. Arlee Bird

    Rod does okay with this song, but still it’s not up to the standards of a lot of his older stuff.

    I’m an Alison Krauss fan and I prefer this song in the style she and her boys do it. They’re more in the mode of that great rendition by the Soggy Bottom Boys–love that movie!

    Excellent match up. My vote goes whole-heartedly to Alison and her boys.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  7. dcrelief

    Usually I am a Rod Stewart lover of every song he does. This one, though, I must admit total bias for Alison & the Boys! I suppose all of that lovely instrumentation has always captured my heart strings! Great battle, Cathy. See you tomorrow with the A2Z!


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