Born Joseph Henry Burnett in St. Louis, Missouri, T Bone grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, where he first made records in 1965, producing Texas blues, country, and rock & roll bands and, occasionally, himself. In the early 1970s, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he still lives and works as a producer and recording artist. In 1975, he toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review tour before forming his own group, the Alpha Band, with other musicians from the tour.
Burnett returned to recording solo in the late 1970s and has gone on to record numerous critically acclaimed albums--including 1992's Grammy nominated Criminal Under My Own Hat--under his own name. He has written music for two Sam Shepard plays--"Tooth of Crime (Second Dance)" and "The Late Henry Moss"--and composed music for a production of Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children" by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
A prolific and versatile producer, T Bone Burnett has helmed highly successful recordings for Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, k.d. lang, Alison Krauss, Counting Crows, the Wallflowers, Sam Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Ralph Stanley among numerous others. Burnett was musical director for the concert film, "Roy Orbison and Friends: Black and White Night," which featured Orbison and an all-star band of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Burnett and many others.
In 2001, he served as Composer and Music Producer for the Coen Brothers' film
"O Brother, Where Art Thou?," scoring the film and producing a soundtrack of "old-timey" American music performed by musicians relatively unknown to the public at large. That soundtrack album became nothing less than a cultural phenomenon, selling nearly 9 million copies and dominating the Billboard album chart for more than a year. In 2002, Burnett took home four Grammy Awards: Producer, Album of the Year for O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Producer, Best Traditional Folk Album for Down From The Mountain; Producer, Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media for O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and Producer of the Year for his work on the above projects and Sam Phillips' Fan Dance.
He was Executive Producer, along with the Coen Brothers, of the "Down From The Mountain" concert documentary, filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in 2000. The success of that concert and film, along with the phenomenal success of the "O Brother" soundtrack, led to T Bone and the Coen Brothers producing two highly-successful concert tours featuring the music, musicians and spirit of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?": "Down From The Mountain" in 2002 and "The Great High Mountain" in 2003.
Burnett and the Coen Brothers joined forces again in 2002 to form DMZ Records, a joint venture with Columbia Records, and produced the new label's inaugural releases: a new album by the legendary bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley and the "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" soundtrack. DMZ has since released several critically-acclaimed soundtrack albums, produced or executive-produced by Burnett, including Cold Mountain (2003), A Mighty Wind (2003), Crossing Jordan (2003), and The Ladykillers (2004), a personal favorite of T Bone's which reunited him with the Coen Brothers on a film for the first time since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" One of his songs for "Cold Mountain," "The Scarlet Tide," co-written with Elvis Costello and sung by Alison Krauss, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song and won the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music.
He earned a fifth Grammy for his production on 2003's A Wonderful World album by Tony Bennett and k.d. lang.
T Bone Burnett also served as executive producer for the highly-lauded debut album from Ollabelle, released on DMZ/Columbia Records in March 2004. He produced the debut album, Future Perfect, from experimental band Autolux for DMZ/Columbia which was released in October 2004, as well as the new album by Cassandra Wilson, Thunderbird, which will be released in March 2006. He also wrote the score and several songs for the Wim Wenders and Sam Shepard film, "Don't Come Knocking," collaborating with Bono and Andrea Corrs and Cassandra Wilson, which will be released in the spring of 2006.
He most recently served as Executive Music Producer for the highly-acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic, "Walk The Line," produced the film's RIAA gold-certified soundtrack album and composed its score. Burnett's work on that film earned him another BAFTA nomination in 2006.
People probably know T-Bone Burnett more as a producer then as a performer, he's pretty much the man responsible for the bluegrass/Americana boom with his O, Brother Soundtrack - but this guy logged time with Bob Dylan on his Rolling Thunder Revue Tour as well as putting out albums of his own. Look for him to be an asterisk as a sit-in on a number of setlists this year. Unfortunately not too much out there of him performing on his own, but check out this vintage clip of him performing "Rive Of Love"....
Here's a couple of shows to check out...
T-Bone Burnett - 1984-10-24 - Rockefellers - Houston, TX
T-Bone Burnett - 1983-07-05 - Wolfgangs - San Francisco, CA
Only have one for you, here's "Earlier Baghdad" the first single off of his brand new album The True False Identity....
For more on T-Bone head on over to his official website.