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Soul - Released November 17, 2017 | Anti - Epitaph

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Ten years after signing with the ANTI label, Mavis Staples pursues her impressive resurrection. Still joined by Jeff Tweedy, the great soul gospel priestess even hands him the wheel in this If All I Was Black, for which the band leader of Wilco has penned all the songs. After We'll Never Turn Back produced in 2007 by Ry Cooder, You Are Not Alone in 2010, One True Vine in 2013 and Livin' On A High Note in 2016 (on which she asked Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Justin Vernon a.k.a. Bon Iver, The Head & The Heart, tUnE-yArds, Neko Case, Aloe Blacc, Son Little, Valerie June and M Ward to participate), Pops Staples’ daughter inhabits each composition and her voice tames the lyrics of songs that couldn’t be more politically motivated. A major figure of the Civil Right Movement, a regular of great causes and militancy in songs, this lady masters these anti-Trump pieces with her usual class, with strong yet subtle criticisms—that are never Manichean nor childish—of an American in full regression. Above all, the blend of gospel inwardness, soul power and rhythm ‘n’ blues groove that she offers perfectly combines with Tweedy’s rustic and 'no added sugars' production. A great soul disc! © MZ/Qobuz

R&B - Released June 21, 2013 | Anti - Epitaph

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Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy proved to be such a good match on You Are Not Alone -- the album won a Grammy in the category of Best Americana Album -- that the two opted to do it again. Not tremendously different from that 2010 set, One True Vine does involve a slightly different core lineup. Tweedy's teenaged son Spencer drums instead of Stephen Hodges, and Tweedy, rather than Jeff Turmes, handles all the bass duties (among several other instruments). The album features another assortment of covers and new material. Its quieter, reserved, slightly darker mood is tipped off with a cover of Low's "Holy Ghost." Mavis' characteristically arresting voice, supported by Mark Greenberg's lightly touched Wurlitzer and a hushed backing vocalist trio of Tiffany "Makeda" Francisco, Kelly Hogan, and Donny Gerrard, sounds like it could have been recorded during a 2 a.m. service. Early Funkadelic classic "Can You Get to That" -- the most inspired choice of the Tweedy sessions -- is done straightforwardly with slightly goofy vocals from Tweedy and Gerrard. Nick Lowe's contribution, "Far Celestial Shore," can be identified quickly, yet it's not out of place among Tweedy's three originals or the two songs within the public domain. A new version of "I Like the Things About Me" (aka "I Like the Things About You") swaps twanging guitar for buzzing bass and has deeper resonance with Mavis singing lead than the Pops-fronted original heard on The Staple Swingers. Throughout, Tweedy and company give Mavis even more room than on You Are Not Alone. While this isn't as exciting, the grip is instant, hard to break. ~ Andy Kellman

Soul - Released February 8, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

"It's kind of unbelievable to me that I’m still recording. I never thought I would still be singing at my age, and people seem to really want to hear me, they know me, they give me love - I'm just overwhelmed, really. I thank God every night before I go to bed and then again every morning for waking up." Few people would have imagined that at 79 years old Mavis Staples would still be reaching a wide audience and recording albums. Her inner strength is fully intact and this live performance at the Union Chapel in London just goes to prove it. Trump's America acts as a good source of inspiration and a powerful fuel for this voice that sings about God, love, and all the injustices and evils that surround us. She’s just as politically engaged as she was during The Staple Singers’ heyday (who were led by Pops Staples, her illustrious father) when the band released several protest songs for the Civil Rights Movement. Here, the gospel queen essentially sings songs from albums that she has released on the label ANTI since 2007. From Love and Trust by Ben Harper to Funkadelic's Can You Get to That and What You Gonna Do (which she sang during the sixties with The Staple Singers), from Let's Do It Again by Curtis Mayfield to Slippery People by Talking Heads, Mavis Staples’ voice turns everything it touches into gold. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz


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