A slew of indie-rock artists led by Mark Kozelek, Marissa Nadler, and Maps and Atlases have teamed up with 826 Valencia, to create You Be My Heart, a benefit album of songs entirely written by 826 Valencia volunteer Devon Reed. Reed, who tells me his musical performance résumé consists primarily of “occasional busking on the streets of San Francisco for $2 an hour,” had taken on a similar project several years ago with the soundtrack for his film The Bigtop. With the help of “lots of emails,” Reed pulled together an impressive roster of artists he enjoys, let them choose a song he’d written, and sat back to see what they could come up with. “All in all, there was just a perfect combination of good luck and dogged determination that made this happen,” says Reed.
826 National provides writing workshops to children across the country, but began as 826 Valencia in San Francisco in 2002. 826 Centers provide “a variety of inventive programs that provide under-resourced students, ages 6–18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills.” Listen to Mark Kozelek’s rendition of “I Know” below, and look for the complete album December 9.