In addition to being one of the most well respected record producers in the music business and a solo performer, Burnett's songs have been covered by artists like K.d. lang ("Till the Heart Caves In"), Los Lobos, Sixpence None the Richer ("Carry You"), Tonio K, Emmylou Harris, Arlo Guthrie, Warren Zevon, Peter Case, B. J. Thomas and others.
Three years after releasing his own 1972 album, The B-52 Band and the Fabulous Skylarks, Bob Dylan asked Burnett to play guitar for his "Rolling Thunder Revue" tour. When that tour had ended, Burnett and two other members of Dylan's band, David Mansfield and Steven Soles formed The Alpha Band. The band released three albums, The Alpha Band in 1977, Spark In The Dark in 1977, and The Statue Makers of Hollywood in 1978.
Burnett then revived his solo career and began producing albums for artists like Counting Crows' August and Everything After, Los Lobos' How Will the Wolf Survive?, Elvis Costello's King of America and Spike, the Wallflowers' Bringing Down the Horse, Marshall Crenshaw's Downtown, Spinal Tap's Break Like The Wind, the BoDeans' Love & Hope and Sex & Dreams, Gillian Welch's Revival and Hell Among The Yearlings, The Roy Orbison tribute A Black and White Night, two albums for Bruce Cockburn, and nearly everything released by wife, Sam Phillips.
In 1987 Burnett would produce Roy Orbison's two-record album, In Dreams: The Greatest Hits. After that, he was the musical director and a guitarist for Orbison's hugely successful HBO television special, A Black and White Night.
T-Bone Burnett was called the best songwriter in America by Rolling Stone Magazine.
In 2000, Burnett produced the soundtrack for the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou. The award winning score featured music from Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Gillian Welch, and others performing traditional American folk music, blues and bluegrass - reminiscent of Burnett's 1986 self titled release. A documentary film was also made while recording the soundtrack, which was called Down from the Mountain and featured many of the same artists.