According to website Wikipedia, "the film's score was written by David Mansfield, who also assembled a roster of female country music artists to perform mostly traditional mountain ballads. Some of the songs are contemporary arrangements, and some are played in the traditional Appalachian music style. The artists include Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Maria McKee, Dolly Parton, Gillian Welch and Patty Loveless. Singers Emmy Rossum, Iris DeMent, and Hazel Dickens, who appeared in the film, are also featured on the soundtrack. The soundtrack album inspired the 2002 follow-up album by Vanguard Records, Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie, that compiled recordings of some of the songs selected for the film as performed by authentic Appalachian artists. The recordings are mostly from the 1960s, out of the Vanguard vaults."
The picture is partially loosely based on English folk song collector Cecil J. Sharp who is characterized in the film as Professor Cyrus Whittle (Steven Sutherland). The movie is also partially loosely based on the musical work of Olive Dame Campbell, who was the Founder of "The John C. Campbell Folk School" in Brasstown, North Carolina.
The name of the mountain range where the charecters lived was the Appalachian Mountains in the mountains of western North Carolina in Appalachia, USA. This mountain range stretches from North Georgia to Maine. Because of the steep terrain, communities were isolated and developed much later than ones in the flatlands. Scots/Irish settled the area and provided for the musical tradition that gave rise to the music featured in the film.
A number of the extras are part of the old time Appalachian music scene in Asheville, NC. This includes dulcimer player Don Pedi, who also hosts an old time music show on WCQS, Asheville's public radio station. Members of the Green Grass Cloggers (and their children), famous ballad singer and activist Hazel Dickens, Iris DeMent, and other top musicians are shown. Ironically, many of the artists featured are responsible for preserving the musical tradition in modern times and represent some of the finest in their craft today.
Two of the film's lead cast, Michael Davis and Michael Goodwin, were both first-named "Michael". Moreover, the two actors portrayed two academics, Dean Arthur Pembroke and Professor Wallace Aldrich PhD respectively.