Former Attorney General Janet Reno gets beat up on a lot, but anyone who makes a "patriotic" mix-tape like the one listed below the fold really "gets it." Not even a whiff of that "Proud to Be an American"-type crap! Bush's mix-tape would be Lee Greenwood's greatest hits, maybe a Toby Keith number or two (Toby, you could totally break the law right now —the Big Dawg will jus' pardon ya!) and probably "Elvira." (This news came out a few weeks ago, but I'm so psyched about it, I had to plug it. I am so going to camp out in front of Best Buy for a few days for this one — I'll be the one with the sign and the "J-Ren" shirt on.)
Reno's compilation, Song of America, was her attempt to tell the story of America through popular song and reportedly took her two years to compile. It's coming out in September (just in time for, uh, an early Halloween present?) on the Thirty Tigers imprint, a company started by some disgusted former major-label employees who felt the current system was going to sweep amazing but non-blockbuster geniuses under the rug to wallow in obscurity. Their label's first release was a Folk collection of Stephen Foster songs and they've also worked with The Avett Brothers and Beth Nielsen Chapman.
Janet, call me. I've got a "patriotic mix-tape" of my own I want to share with you — a patriotic mix-tape … of love.
Song of America tracklist:
Earl Bullhead - "Lakota Dream Song"
Julie Lee - "Once More Our God Vouchesafe To Shine"
Blind Boys of Alabama - "Let Us Break Bread Together"
John Wesley Harding - "God Save the King"
Elizabeth Foster - "Young Ladies in Town"
Malcolm Holcombe - "The Old Woman Taught Wisdom"
Ed Pettersen - "The Liberty Song"
Harper Simon - "Yankee Doodle"
The Wilders - "Jefferson & Liberty"
Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro - "Hail Columbia"
Take 6 - "Star Spangled Banner"
Beth Nielsen Chapman - "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child"
Freedy Johnston - "Peg and Awl"
BR549 - "Sweet Betsy From Pike"
Will Hill and Jehnean Day Washington - "Trail of Tears"
Minton Sparks and Pat Flynn - "Declaration of Sentiments"
Fisk Jubilee Singers - "Go Down Moses"
Mavericks (featuring Thad Cockrell) - "Dixie's Land"
Marah - "John Brown's Body"
Joanna Smith - "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Janis Ian - "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye"
Tim O'Brien - "Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay"
Otis Gibbs - "The Farmer Is the Man"
Joni Harms - "Home on the Range"
Jake Shimabukuro - "Stars & Stripes Forever"
Jen Chapin - "Over There"
Andrew Bird - "How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm"
Karen Parks - "Lift Every Voice and Sing"
Danielson - "Happy Days Are Here Again"
Andy Bey - "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?"
Jim Lauderdale - "Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat"
Old Crow Medicine Show - "Deportee"
Suzy Bogguss - "Rosie the Riveter"
Folk Family Robinson (the Black Crowes with Stan Robinson) - "Reuben James"
Scott Kempner - "Apache Tears"
Elizabeth Cook and the Grascals - "The Great Atomic Power"
Devendra Banhart - "Little Boxes"
The Del McCoury Band - "The Times They Are A-Changin'"
Kim Richey - "Get Together"
The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker - "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud"
Ben Taylor - "Ohio"
Anthony David - "What's Going On"
Martha Wainwright - "I Am Woman"
Matthew Ryan - "Youngstown"
Bettye LaVette - "Streets of Philadelphia"
Gary Heffern/Chris Eckman - "Wave"
Shortee - "The Message"
Judith Edelman/Neilson Hubbard - "Sleep, My Child (Schlof Mayn Kind)"
The Wrights - "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning"
John Mellencamp - "This Land Is Your Land"
(photo of Janet Reno and Will Farrell — as to which is which, your guess is as good as mine: nytimes.com)
— Mike Breen