5. 'American Epic'
Co-produced by roots zealots Jack White and T Bone Burnett and shown on PBS last spring, American Epic was a multi-part documentary on the early-20th-century miracle of the record business: the native, immigrant, underclass and aspiring voices given permanence and respect, for the first time, on disc. The companion soundtrack – available in assorted vinyl and CD formats for every budget and will to explore – expands the film's attention on select savants (the Carter Family, Mississippi John Hurt, the singing miner Dick Justice) to a truly national chorale of storytellers and enchanters: Appalachian singers, Cajun dance bands, blues genies, gospel firebrands, Native American chanters and Hawaiian serenaders, many of whom only passed by a microphone between their struggles and labors. You want to hear America be great again? Drop the needle here – anywhere.