NEW YORK (AP) — When Justin Timberlake couldn’t attend Sunday’s concert celebrating the music of the new Coen Brothers movie, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” master of ceremonies John Goodman told the crowd Timberlake’s understudy would perform instead.
Then he introduced Elvis Costello.
“Heaven knows when you think of Justin, you think of me,” Costello joked with the Town Hall crowd.
Then Costello introduced his understudy, famed music producer T Bone Burnett.
Replete with his trademark glasses, Burnett performed rousing backup vocals on “Please, Mr. Kennedy.” Timberlake’s character sings that song in the film about the New York folk music scene in the 1960s.
Burnett acted as the project’s executive music producer, just as he did for the music from the Grammy-winning “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”
Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis” included music inspired by the film from a host of folk artists, old and new. Among them were the Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, Marcus Mumford, Patti Smith and Joan Baez. Stars from the film also performed, including Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac and Stark Sands.
Before the show, director Joel Coen was milling around the lobby, and during intermission, his wife, Frances McDormand, was by his side. When asked how he felt the concert was going, he simply replied: “Good.”
Scott Rudin, the film’s producer, was a bit more outgoing. Holding court before the show in the lobby, he appeared like a proud father at a wedding reception. During intermission, Rudin had a huge smile while standing at the center aisle.
He spoke briefly to The Associated Press about the show.
“Loving it, it’s a blast,” Rudin beamed.
He’s well aware of the success of “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” which won a Grammy in 2002 for album of the year.
But Rudin doesn’t want to jump to conclusions.
“Oh, I don’t know, it’s all this movie,” Rudin said of the evening’s festivities.
He added: “It’s going great. I’m very proud of it. Very excited. T Bone did an incredible job, don’t you think? And the second half is insane.”
Rudin was right on the mark as Jack White opened with a three-song set that was followed by one of the more inspiring performances of the night by Rhiannon Giddens that brought some members of the crowd to their feet.
Standout performances included Decemberist’s frontman Colin Meloy covering a song he thought was a ghost story, bringing out Joan Baez to perform “Joe Hill” with him.
Patti Smith covered “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,” recorded in 1963 by Baez and made famous a decade later by Led Zeppelin.
Costello, Sands and Mulligan backed by the Punch Brothers performed a spirited version of the traditional folk song “500 Miles.”
Guests included Glenn Close, Jesse Eisenberg and Paul Rudd.
“Inside LLewyn Davis” won the Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Film Festival and made its U.S. debut Saturday at the New York Film Festival. It opens in the U.S. in December. The soundtrack is available Nov. 12.
As for the show, Mumford and Mulligan performed several times throughout the evening, though there wasn’t a Mumford and Wife moment. They were married last year.
Regardless, the Mumford and Sons frontman said the evening had “so many OMG moments.”
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