Bettye LaVette Covers Bruce Springsteen

Never got around to collectively scratching our skulls over Janet Reno’s patriotic foray into album curation, but better late than never, so here’s the windup: Our nation’s former Attorney General has assembled a music comp, spanning three discs and 50 songs, telling the story of this great land through the collected works of folks like Devendra Banhart, Andrew Bird, Danielson, Freedy Johnston, Martha Wainwright, John Mellencamp, and Marah. Not quite “Janet Reno’s Dance Party“; actually, even better. The tunes on Song Of America are Reno’s picks of “songs focusing on key periods in American history,” as a sort of pedagogical exercise in the country’s past and an awesome bonding point for you and your Democrat dad. Since it came out this week, we figured we’d do our civic duty and provide some tracklist action, and even better, a standout cut from the comp: Bettye LaVette’s cover of the Boss’s “Streets Of Philadelphia.”


Drive-By Truckers gave us an excuse to talk up the great lady of soul recently, and here she is again, with a powerful, piano bar take on Bruce’s Philadelphia soundtrack standout, making it bleed with just a hint of double bass.

Bettye LaVette – “Streets Of Philadelphia” (MP3)

One more from Bettye, from her The Scene Of The Crime LP with Drive-By Truckers…

Bettye LaVette (Feat. Drive-By Truckers) – “You Don’t Know Me At All” (MP3)

Song Of America is out now via Split Rock Records/Thirty One Tigers. Here’s your tracklist…

01 Earl Bullhead – “Lakota Dream Song”
02 Julie Lee – “Once More Our God Vouchesafe To Shine”
03 Blind Boys of Alabama – “Let Us Break Bread Together”
04 John Wesley Harding – “God Save the King”
05 Elizabeth Foster – “Young Ladies in Town”
06 Malcolm Holcombe – “The Old Woman Taught Wisdom”
07 Ed Pettersen – “The Liberty Song”
08 Harper Simon – “Yankee Doodle”
09 The Wilders – “Jefferson & Liberty”
10 Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro – “Hail Columbia”
11 Take 6 – “Star Spangled Banner”
12 Beth Nielsen Chapman – “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”
13 Freedy Johnston – “Peg and Awl”
14 BR549 – “Sweet Betsy From Pike”
15 Will Hill and Jehnean Day Washington – “Trail of Tears”
16 Minton Sparks and Pat Flynn – “Declaration of Sentiments”
17 Fisk Jubilee Singers – “Go Down Moses”
18 The Mavericks [Feat. Thad Cockrell] – “Dixie’s Land”

01 Marah – “John Brown’s Body”
02 Joanna Smith – “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
03 Janis Ian – “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”
04 Tim O’Brien – “Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay”
05 Otis Gibbs – “The Farmer Is the Man”
06 Joni Harms – “Home on the Range”
07 Jake Shimabukuro – “Stars & Stripes Forever”
08 Jen Chapin – “Over There”
09 Andrew Bird – “How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm”
10 Karen Parks – “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
11 Danielson – “Happy Days Are Here Again”
12 Andy Bey – “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”
13 Jim Lauderdale – “Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat”
14 Old Crow Medicine Show – “Deportee”
15 Suzy Bogguss – “Rosie the Riveter”
16 Folk Family Robinson (Black Crowes with Stan Robinson) – “Reuben James”

01 Scott Kempner – “Apache Tears”
02 Elizabeth Cook and the Grascals – “The Great Atomic Power”
03 Devendra Banhart – “Little Boxes”
04 The Del McCoury Band – “The Times They Are A-Changin'”
05 Kim Richey – “Get Together”
06 The Dynamites / Charles Walker – “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”
07 Ben Taylor – “Ohio”
08 Anthony David – “What’s Going On”
09 Martha Wainwright – “I Am Woman”
10 Matthew Ryan – “Youngstown”
11 Bettye LaVette – “Streets of Philadelphia”
12 Gary Heffern / Chris Eckman – “Wave”
13 Shortee – “The Message”
14 Judith Edelman / Neilson Hubbard – “Sleep, My Child (Schlof Mayn Kind)”
15 The Wrights – “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”
16 John Mellencamp – “This Land Is Your Land”