Terry Morrow: T-Bone Burnett found path to 'Nashville' at home

T-Bone Burnett is behind the musical portion of "Nashville," which airs at 10 p.m. today on WATE, Channel 6.

T-Bone Burnett is behind the musical portion of "Nashville," which airs at 10 p.m. today on WATE, Channel 6.

BEVERLY HILLS — To keep peace around the house, acclaimed musician T-Bone Burnett agreed to work on "Nashville."

Since Burnett's wife, Academy Award winning writer Callie Khouri("Thelma & Louise"), developed "Nashville," she wanted him on board. Given his success with various soundtracks — such as "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" — Burnett's touch was something Khouri needed for her own show.

He's learned a few thing about his wife's artistic side. "Working this close to her, during her writing process, I have learned a lot about drama," Burnett said recently.

"Seeing the characters grow, having the plot, watching them expand, I see a lot about development. I'm learning a lot of helpful things about characters from this."

Forty years of creating characters through his music and working along side talents such as Bob Dylan along the way (and winning his own Oscar in the Best Original Song race for "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart"), Burnett has worked with Hollywood's top shelf.

He guidedJoaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for their singing roles as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in the film "Walk the Line," and is impressed by the level of talent he's encountered on "Nashville" (10 p.m. today, WATE, Channel 6).

Burnett admits he doesn't watch television much. However, his favorite viewing includes "Mad Men" ("I like it a lot"), "The Wire" and "Breaking Bad."

"I don't have time for television," he said, "especially if it is (standalone) episodes.

"I like long-form storytelling, where I can sit down and watch it all at one time."

Of course, he'll make time for more TV time if wife needs him to do it.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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