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Soul - Released June 25, 2013 | Anti - Epitaph

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Since Rick Rubin quietly reinvented Johnny Cash as a contemporary artist by having him sing works by alternative rock acts over an acoustic guitar on 1994's American Recordings, this has become a standard practice by pairing veterans with hotshot young producers to spark creativity. Listening to One True Vine, Mavis Staples' 2013 solo disc for ANTI- Records (the edgy heritage artists-oriented subsidiary of punk label Epitaph), it sounds more like Staples schooled this project's producer, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy The focal point of gospel/soul greats The Staple Singers (patriarch/band leader Roebuck "Pops" Staples' ultra-expressive guitar playing aside), Mavis has become the standard-bearer of their sound and legacy, one of the richest in American history. It's no wonder this sounds so perfectly of a piece with anything her family released, especially their more gospel-oriented albums, albeit with some musical settings closer to the secular material that made them Seventies hitmakers. The solidity of her belief is audible, as she somehow manages to find the sanctified message within the most earthly of material. Across One True Vine's length and breadth, Staples applies her idiosyncratic touch to copyrights from Low ("Holy Ghost"), Nick Lowe ("Far Celestial Shore"), Funkadelic ("Can You Get To That"), Pops Staples himself ("I Like The Things About Me"), and three of Tweedy's ("Every Step," "Jesus Wept," and the title track), plus three gospel standards. But the tone's set from the get-go, when Staples tacitly reassembles the Low tune in her own image, with a spare, plucked acoustic guitar and a modest choir backing her husky alto. Her intent with Alan Sparhawk's meditation is unambiguous, despite the refrain. Mavis Staples is not singing about "some holy ghost," she's singing about The Holy Ghost. It's both a gift, and an indicator of the depths of her spirituality. © Tim Stegall/Qobuz
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Soul - Released May 24, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released February 8, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

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"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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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
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Soul - Released September 14, 2010 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released January 1, 1969 | Stax

A powerhouse soul belter and wailer, Mavis Staples doesn't have to play second fiddle to anyone, including Aretha Franklin, when it comes to pure, house-rocking, testifying authority. She's seldom gotten a complete album of quality material, but on this 1969 debut, she took half-baked material and made it memorable. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 18, 2009 | Alligator Records

If ever there were a time for Mavis Staples to return to recording, 2004 is it. Her tenure with her family's group the Staple Singers led by her late father Pops offered a steadying, positive presence on the pop scene during the late antiwar unrest and civil rights struggles of the 1960s through the 1970s. They offered up notions of personal responsibility, dignity, and spiritual hope in a heady and uncertain time. Have a Little Faith is a stellar collection of bluesy folk gospel and classic soul grooves recorded for modern times. Staples co-produced with Jim Tullio, who has also worked with John Martyn (who makes a cameo here) and Richie Havens. The album is subtle, laden with beautiful dark grooves, moody guitars, organic percussion, and B-3 and Rhodes piano. One can feel the presence and influence of Pops on these sides. He was a musician who understood that the empty spaces left on a record were as important as the music. Tullio gives Staples' gorgeous, grainy contralto a lot of room to weave its own magic amid the wonderfully warm, down-home swirl of the band. The album opener, "Step into the Light," was written by Robi Draco Rosa, Tullio, and Staples and features Martyn on guitar. The Delta blues acoustic slide feel that accompanies Staples at the beginning of the tune is counteranchored by Chris Cameron's clavinet and the backing vocals of the Dixie Hummingbirds. The title cut comes right from Stax/Volt in its beautifully articulated guitar lines and a combination of B-3 and Wurlitzer. But it's Staples' voice with its welcoming conviction and certainty that soars: "There's evil all around us/We got to rise above/Got to fight the good fight/With that war with love/Hold on, hold on/Help is on the way/There's a better tomorrow/I can feel it today." What's amazing is that you believe her. Her reworking of the great Delta tune "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (with additional lyrics by Pops) is as storefront church as it gets. The message tunes, like "Ain't No Better Than You" and "At the End of the Day," are the gritty soul and funk tunes that are desperately needed right now, and the kind of songs that used to come bursting from the AM and FM dials by major and marginal artists alike. A Chicago choir aids Staples and the band on "In Times Like These," written by Tullio and LeRoy Marinell; even R. Kelly couldn't deliver a tune as inspirational as this one. There's nothing overblown about it's all-heavy, heart-lifting soul. The set ends with the first tune the Staples ever sang and recorded, a bare-bones, deep blues rendering of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," with acoustic slide guitars, a bass harmonica, and hand percussion with a Wurlitzer backing Staples' understated yet devastatingly emotional performance. Have a Little Faith is a glorious return for Staples and is capable of inspiring those who are lucky enough to encounter it. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Soul - Released February 19, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released April 24, 2007 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released January 1, 1970 | Stax

Recorded in 1969 and released the following year, Only for the Lonely was one of the best LPs Mavis Staples ever recorded. Staples' energy, delivery, timing, and technique were consistently awesome. Unfortunately, only a few of these songs got much attention outside R&B circles, but their quality shows Staples' greatness as a soul vocalist. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Soul - Released November 4, 2008 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released January 1, 1996 | Verve

Recorded in Louisiana, not terribly far from Mahalia Jackson's birthplace, this is a 13-song tribute to the legendary Queen of Gospel. Staples leads all the tracks with Lucky Peterson on the Hammond B-3 organ. This is a very bare-bones set, and after the fourth song, "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again," the format becomes boring and the songs begin to sound similar. There's nothing unique about these arrangements: Peterson's riffs are fun the first couple of times but quickly grow repetitive, and the choice of songs is decidedly depressing --- "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" -- and although Staples sings them with zeal, the overall package lacks the flair, creativity and sense of celebration such a project should connote. © Bil Carpenter /TiVo

Soul - Released April 2, 2020 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released February 9, 2021 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released April 21, 2015 | Anti - Epitaph

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Soul - Released July 6, 1979 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Soul - Released April 14, 2017 | Blackbird Production Partners LLC

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Pop - Released April 24, 2011 | Now Sound Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 6, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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Dance - Released April 21, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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Mavis Staples in the magazine