• On their second collaboration, legendary singer Mavis Staples and Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy have crafted a gospel album for the 21st century, a music that strives for faith in a world where nothing can be taken for granted. On One True Vine, Mavis Staples gives voice to something new in her repertoire, something deeper and more resonant with our times; longtime fans will notice a new reserve in her singing, a muted, plaintive quality that serves the darker, more nuanced songs collected here perfectly.

  • If her Stax hits spoke for a growing black social consciousness, and her seventies collaborations with the Band and others gave spiritual weight to the rediscovery of tradional American music, then in our post-millenial drift, Jeff Tweedy has crafted a pulpit from which Mavis lends her voice to a search for grace. 
  • One True Vine is a dark night of the soul, a journey from a search for faith to glorious belief. Starting with Alan Sparhawk from Low’s downtempo “One Holy Ghost” – a song that feels the presence of God without fully comprehending it – and moving through the Jeff Tweedy original “Jesus Wept,” a questioning of the darkness in the world, the album begins in the depths.

  • Even the perfectly chosen Funkadelic classic “Can You Get to That?,” a high-flying respite in an otherwise subdued first half, is built around a question of the spirit. Then at mid-point, Nick Lowe’s “Far Celestial Shores” picks up the pace, and the album opens up like a parting of the clouds.

  • The tempo kicks in with a tent-revival throb, and even when things slow for a moment with the greasy funk reworking of the Staple’s “I Like the Things About Me,” it’s a second half of light and redemption. Closing with the beautiful ballad “One True Vine” (the third of the Tweedy originals), the album ends on a note of salvation, with Mavis cradling the lyric like a prodigal son.

  • No one should be surprised at this new Mavis Staples; for six decades she has been the solid rock of American music. Alongside the family group she is so identified with, the Staple Singers, Mavis has managed to transform herself as she goes, yet never alter.

  • From the delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s, to the engaged protest of the civil rights era, and then, amazingly, on pop radio in the Stax era with a series of soul anthems, from “I’ll Take You There” to “Respect Yourself:” through all these Mavis carried on, her warm embrace of a voice the only constant.

  • How many musicians can claim this: to exist outside any scene, outside genre, yet weaving themselves into the fabric of soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, rock and blues? Many of the maverick names that come to mind are composers as well; that Mavis has created her legacy as an interpreter of others – an underestimated talent since the days of the band singers – makes her achievement all the more impressive.

  • She gives voice to others; more than that, she gives voice to entire movements, to eras, to songs so old their roots are lost. And she manages to work a little P-Funk in there too.

  • Recently, recognition of Mavis’ unique role in American music has been growing beyond her longtime fans, dipping into the wider world of pop as she performs alongside Justin Timberlake at the White House tribute to Memphis Soul, or with Elton John in a show-stealing Grammy tribute to Levon Helm of the Band.

  • Her first album with Tweedy at the controls, You Are Not Alone, won a much deserved Grammy. Now, on her second collaboration with Tweedy – Mavis calls him “Tweedy” all day long, and they are a pleasure to watch in the studio, riffing like some old vaudeville team – she has made an album to match her new national profile. One True Vine is an album that will both surprise longtime fans and solidify her position at the helm of American music.

RESPECT
    YOURSELF72

  • 00 I'll Take You There

  • 01 Respect Yourself

  • 02 Heavy Makes You Happy

  • 03 People, My People

  • 04 If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)

  • 05 Keep On Pushing

  • 06 Have A Little Faith

  • 07 Let's Do It Again

  • 08 You Must Have That True Religion

  • 09 Eyes On The Prize

  • 10 I Belong to the Band

  • 11 Wonderful Savior

  • 12 Holy Ghost

  • 13 Every Step

  • 14 Can You Get To That

  • 15 Jesus Wept

  • 16 Far Celestial Shore

  • 17 What Are They Doing In Heaven Today

  • 18 Sow Good Seeds

  • 19 I Like The Things About Me

  • 20 Woke Up This Morning (with Jesus on my mind)

  • 21 One True Vine

One True Vine

    • 1969

      Mavis Staples

    • 1970

      Only For The Lonely

    • 1977

      A Piece of the Action

    • 1979

      Oh What A Feeling

    • 1984

      Mavis Staples

    • 1988

      Don't Change Me Now

    • 1989

      Time Waits For No One

    • 1993

      The Voice

    • 1996

      Spirituals & Gospel

    • 2004

      Have A Little Faith

    • 2007

      We’ll Never Turn Back

    • 2008

      Hope At The Hideout

    • 2010

      You Are Not Alone

    • 2013

      One True Vine

    • 2015

      Your Good Fortune

    • ‘MAVIS STAPLES

      TO RECEIVE WOODY GUTHRIE PRIZE’

      WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 2015

      Mavis Staples, the American gospel and rhythm and blues singer and civil rights activist, will be honored with the annual Woody Guthrie Prize at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

      The event will begin at 8:00pm and will also include the presentation of the first Woody Guthrie Legacy Award to Phil Ochs. The $30 event tickets will be on sale June 25 and can be purchased by calling the GRAMMY Museum box office at 213-765-6803 or on-line at AXS.com. More information is available at GRAMMYMuseum.org. The first Woody Guthrie Prize was awarded posthumously to Pete Seeger in February 2014 in a star-studded event in New York City. The prize is given annually to the artist who best exemplifies the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate through music, film, literature, dance or other art forms and serving as a positive force for social change in America.

      Staples’ career in music began in 1950 as part of her family’s group, The Staple Singers. By the mid-1960’s, the group had become one of the spiritual and musical voices of the Civil Rights movement thanks to family patriarch, Pops Staples’, close friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout six decades of an incredible career, Staples has worked with legendary artists such as Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, George Jones, Natalie Merchant, Delbert McClinton, and many more. In February 2011, she won her first GRAMMY Award for Best Americana Album with You Are Not Alone.

      “Mavis Staples’ strong, beautiful voice energized a movement that changed our world. We are honored to award the Second Annual Woody Guthrie Prize to Ms. Staples in recognition of her work alongside her family and her continued work as an incredible solo artist,” said Deana McCloud, Woody Guthrie Center Executive Director.

      The annual Woody Guthrie Prize is presented by the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, OK in conjunction with the GRAMMY Museum. Proceeds from the event support the Woody Guthrie Center, a 12-000-square-foot center featuring state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits on Guthrie’s life, art and creative legacy. The Center is home to Guthrie’s comprehensive archives, which were acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and moved to Tulsa in 2013. The archives include the original, handwritten version of his landmark anthem, “This Land is Your Land,” which celebrated its 75th anniversary in February of 2015. Recent additions to the collection include donations of the Phil Ochs Archives and Ronald D. Cohen Collection.

    • MAVIS STAPLES

      PREMIERES POWERFUL NEW VIDEO:

      “FIGHT” – WATCH NOW!

      FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015

    • ‘MAVIS STAPLES

      IS STILL GOING STRONG AT 75′

      BY ALEX HEIGL, PEOPLE MAGAZINE

      FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015

      album_2013

      Above all else, Mavis Staples is a survivor. At 75, she’s continued to keep the legend of her family’s group, The Staple Singers, alive, and see the last album of music by her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, through to release this year. Staples continues to tour and perform, and just released a new EP, ‘Your Good Fortune’, through Anti- records. PEOPLE talked to Staples about her new work, putting out her father’s last album and the day Bob Dylan asked her to marry him.

      How did the new EP with Son Little come about?

      My manager and Andy Kaufman from Anti-, we were sitting around my dining room table and Andy was just playing some stuff he had on his phone, and I said, ‘Andy, wait a minute, run that one back.’ I said, “Who is that?” and cracked up at the name when he told me. And when he brought me “Your Good Fortune,” my skin just moved on my bones.

      I love [Wilco's Jeff, who produced her most recent two albums] Tweedy, but I think we reached our course. We probably could have done a third album, but it’s good to get a fresh voice. I’m always willing to try new things. And ready. I just felt like, I got to keep moving, got to keep up with the times.

      You helped get an album of new material by your father ['Don't Lose This'] released this year, as well.

      Pops had been ill for a while, and he would get better and he would go down again. We decided as a family to make one last album, but as time went on, we thought we’d just let Pops keep singing and make this daddy’s album.

      Towards the end, my sisters and I moved him home to take care of him, and one evening, he said, “Mavis, bring that music up here, I wanna hear it.” And when it finished, I said, “Pops, what do you think?” and he said, “Mavis, don’t lose this.” And that let me know that he liked it, that he meant for it to be heard.

      I held onto the tracks that would make up the album for 15 years. There were things that needed tweaking, but at first I couldn’t listen to it. I would get all whelmed up and sad. And when I started trying to get myself out back there, I thought, ain’t no way I can get Pops’s stuff done if no one will take me.

      But then after I made the two records with Tweedy, I thought, well, maybe I can get Pops’s record out there. And I asked the people at Anti-, and they were on board, so I said, “Daddy, I’m gonna get your record done.” And I felt so good, because it was time now. And I can just see him smiling about it.

      Your father wrote “Why Am I Treated So Bad!” in 1966, but it still applies today.

      I sing these songs still, because they’re relevant. Look at what’s happening in the world. I’m seeing the ’60s all over again. History’s repeating itself.

      “Why Am I Treated So Bad,” that turned out to be Dr. King’s favorite song. Pops wrote that about the children who were trying to integrate the school in Little Rock, Arkanas. And they would spit upon these kids and call them names, and the kids would just keep their eyes held straight ahead and their heads held high. And I remember on the day that the mayor of Little Rock and the governor of Arkansas and the President of the United States said, “Let these children go to school.” We were all watching on TV – we wanted to see these kids, they were my age! By the time they got up on that school bus, a policeman had put his billy club across the door. And Pops just said, “Now why is he doing that? Why is he treating them so bad?” And he wrote that song that evening.

      HBO just picked up a documentary about your life, Mavis! – what was the making of it like for you?

      It was hard. All the memories came back. I just couldn’t help but cry. I’d have to tell them to wait on me, to just excuse me for a minute. I just blubber when I see certain parts of it. And I told my manager at first, “I’m tired of talking about ‘Back when,’ I don’t wanna do this.”

      But he said, you’ve lived through so much, you should talk about. So I thought, maybe it should be documented, what we went through, what all happened, while I’m still here to tell it. It brought back a lot of terrible feelings … and some happy ones, too.

      There’s this story that Bob Dylan once asked you to marry him.

      Yes, he did [laughs]. This was the very first day we met. We were doing this TV show in New York for General Electric, and there were a lot of other folk singers on this show. And Bobby’s manager, he told Bobby, “Come here, I want you to meet the Staple Singers.” And Bob says, “I know the Staple Singers, I’ve listened to them since I was 12 years old.” And Pops said, “Where’d you hear us at?” And Bobby said, “I listen to Randy.”

      I remember Bobby said, “Pops, you have a velvety, smooth voice, but then Mavis gets rough sometimes.” And then he quoted a verse that I sang in this song! He said, “Mavis sings, ‘Yonder come little David with his rock and sling / I don’t wanna meet him, he’s a dangerous man.” And we couldn’t believe it! We cracked up at this little white boy who knew our songs!

      And later, we’re eating lunch, and we were up at the front of the line, and he was at the back, and we heard him yell, “Pops, I wanna marry Mavis,” and Pops yelled right back to Bobby, “Well don’t tell me, tell Mavis!” And that’s how he let me know he liked me.

      But yeah, we had many, many good times – we would meet up at different folk festivals. The Newport folk festival… One time he even came to The Apollo to see me! He came to my dressing room. I often think about what would’ve happened if I would’ve married Bobby. Our kids would have our own group by now [laughs].

      ‘Your Good Fortune’ is available on iTunes and Amazon now.

    • MAVIS’ NEW EP

      ‘YOUR GOOD FORTUNE’,

      PRODUCED BY SON LITTLE, AVAILABLE TODAY!

      TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2015

      album_2013

      Soul/gospel legend Mavis Staples has released ‘Your Good Fortune’, a new four-song EP produced by the acclaimed young cross-genre soul explorer Son Little. Preview and purchase the EP via iTunes and Amazon

      The songs on ‘Your Good Fortune’ inventively merge Staples’ iconic and soulful voice, renowned as part of The Staple Singers and as a Grammy-winning solo artist, with Little’s talent for reconfiguring the sensibilities of genres including soul, hip-hop and heavy rock. The resulting tracks retain every bit of Staples’ emotional delivery, while adding an array of modernist sounds created with the cut and paste methodology of contemporary hip-hop.

      “I’m always excited to do new songs,” Mavis says. “And this young man wrote two just for me. Seemed like we were a team made in heaven. He writes from his heart; he’s a great singer who sings from his heart, and he reached my heart.  I’m so glad we got to work together. The whole experience right down to the finished product was just extraordinary.”

      The disc features two original Son Little compositions, “Your Good Fortune” and “Fight,” paired with two reinterpreted classics, the Blind Lemon Jefferson composition “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” (previously recorded by The Staple Singers as “Dying Man’s Plea” in 1962), and the Pops “Roebuck” Staples-penned gospel classic  “Wish I Had Answered”, first recorded by The Staple Singers in 1963.

      The Staple Singers’ 45 RPM release on Riverside Records had as its B-side their take on Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” making them the first African-American artists to record a Dylan song.
 
The title track of ‘Your Good Fortune’ revisits the folk gospel of early Staple Singers with assemblage recording, taut minimalist percussions and deep low-end bass.

      “Fight” references the energetic protest funk of classic seventies Staple Singers with a vocal delivery, at times, so rapid it’s as if Mavis is rapping.

      Staples’ rendition of “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” features a raw distorted guitar, electronic percussions and Staple’s voice on the verge of breaking. The EP ends with “Wish I Had Answered” which stands out for Mavis’ fiery vocal delivery.
 As Son Little says, “Aside from being one of the greatest singers ever, Mavis brings a positive energy unlike anything I’ve experienced. The thing I’ll remember forever about working with Mavis is her voice. Standing in the studio, holding her hand, I watched as each time she began a take. Everyone in the room jumped when we heard her voice. Chills. A metaphysical experience every time.”


      Order the new album through iTunes and Amazon

      Stay tuned to MavisStaples.com for all the latest updates and breaking news

    • ‘MAVIS!’

      NEW DOCUMENTARY COMING TO HBO

      FRIDAY, APRIL 10th, 2015

      ‘Mavis!’ – the first feature-length documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples has been acquired by HBO for distribution in North America.

      Beginning in the gospel church, Mavis’ music spans from the freedom songs of the ‘60s and hits like “I’ll Take You There” to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

      Over the course of her unrivaled career, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close and reinvented herself as a solo artist at the age of 65. With dynamic live performances, rarely-seen archival footage and conversations with musical legends Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Chuck D and more, MAVIS! reveals the struggles and successes of her journey. At 75, Mavis is making the most vital music of her career and her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.

      Said Staples, “I’ve been touring since 1954, and I’ve been to all kinds of festivals, but I don’t think I was at a film festival until my movie screened in Austin. That was something else – to sit in the audience and see on that big screen the results of me and Jessica talking, all the old pictures and family performances, to hear these music giants say such nice things about me. I cried all my mascara off. To think that this story about my family and our music will be in theaters and on TV after all this time is just awesome. And being on HBO – that is a thrill. I’m catching up to my guy John Oliver! I am so grateful, knowing all these young people – whole new generations – they want to hear my songs and my family’s story and what I have to say… I’m really blessed.”

      The film will screen at the upcoming Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Hot Docs, and the Montclair Film Festival, which will include a post-screening conversation with Stephen Colbert and Mavis Staples. The film will screen at more festivals worldwide through the summer.

      For more info, visit the film’s website here.

    • ‘SWEET HARMONY SOUL’

      MAVIS ON TOUR WITH PATTY GRIFFIN AND AMY HELM

      THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015

      album_2013

      On Tour July 8th – July 23



      Mavis is excited to announce that she’ll be hitting the road this summer for a cross-country tour with her friend Patty Griffin. The ‘Sweet Harmony Soul’ tour kicks off July 8 in Interlochen, MI, with additional dates to be announced later this month. Amy Helm and her band will open the run.

      Mavis Staples: “What big fun we are going to have on the road when we hook up with my baby sister Patty Griffin. I’m ready to roll for these dates and can’t wait to get out there with her and Amy.”

      Seeds for this July’s tour were planted when Mavis and Patty met in late 2007 at a recording session for the Grammy-winning gospel duets album ‘Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration’, released in 2009.

      During the session, the two recorded “Waiting For My Child To Come Home.” Now, nearly eight years later, the singers will take the bond formed in the studio on the road.

      Watch “Waiting For My Child To Come Home:”

      Mavis Staples will release a new four-song EP ‘Your Good Fortune’ on April 21st, and ‘Mavis!’, a full length documentary about her life, is screening at film festivals now. Stay tuned to MavisStaples.com for all the latest updates and breaking news.

      Sweet Harmony Soul Tour

      July 8 – Interlochen, MI – Kresge Auditorium
      July 9 – Grand Rapids, MI  - Meijer Gardens Amphitheatre
      July 11 -  Bayfield, WI – Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua
      July 14 – Boulder, CO –  Chautauqua Auditorium
      July 16 – Arvada, CO – Arvada Center
      July 17 – Avon CO – Vilar Performing Arts Center
      July 21 – San Diego – Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay
      July 23 – Saratoga, CA – Montalvo Arts Center
      July 26 – Seattle, WA – Woodland Park Zoo

    • MAVIS’ NEW EP

      ‘YOUR GOOD FORTUNE’,

      PRODUCED BY SON LITTLE, OUT APRIL 21st!

      WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015

      album_2013

      Pitchfork Debuts Title Track Today



      Soul/gospel legend Mavis Staples is set to release ‘Your Good Fortune’, a new four-song EP produced by the acclaimed young cross-genre soul explorer Son Little. The record will arrive in stores on April 21st. Listen to the title track via Pitchfork here.

      The songs on ‘Your Good Fortune’ inventively merge Staples’ iconic and soulful voice, renowned as part of The Staple Singers and as a Grammy-winning solo artist, with Little’s talent for reconfiguring the sensibilities of genres including soul, hip-hop and heavy rock. The resulting tracks retain every bit of Staples’ emotional delivery, while adding an array of modernist sounds created with the cut and paste methodology of contemporary hip-hop.

      “I’m always excited to do new songs,” Mavis says. “And this young man wrote two just for me. Seemed like we were a team made in heaven. He writes from his heart; he’s a great singer who sings from his heart, and he reached my heart.  I’m so glad we got to work together. The whole experience right down to the finished product was just extraordinary.”

      The disc features two original Son Little compositions, “Your Good Fortune” and “Fight,” paired with two reinterpreted classics, the Blind Lemon Jefferson composition “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” (previously recorded by The Staple Singers as “Dying Man’s Plea” in 1962), and the Pops “Roebuck” Staples-penned gospel classic  “Wish I Had Answered”, first recorded by The Staple Singers in 1963.

      The Staple Singers’ 45 RPM release on Riverside Records had as its B-side their take on Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” making them the first African-American artists to record a Dylan song.
 
The title track of ‘Your Good Fortune’ revisits the folk gospel of early Staple Singers with assemblage recording, taut minimalist percussions and deep low-end bass.

      “Fight” references the energetic protest funk of classic seventies Staple Singers with a vocal delivery, at times, so rapid it’s as if Mavis is rapping.

      Staples’ rendition of “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” features a raw distorted guitar, electronic percussions and Staple’s voice on the verge of breaking. The EP ends with “Wish I Had Answered” which stands out for Mavis’ fiery vocal delivery.
 As Son Little says, “Aside from being one of the greatest singers ever, Mavis brings a positive energy unlike anything I’ve experienced. The thing I’ll remember forever about working with Mavis is her voice. Standing in the studio, holding her hand, I watched as each time she began a take. Everyone in the room jumped when we heard her voice. Chills. A metaphysical experience every time.”


      Pre-order the new album through iTunes and Amazon

      Stay tuned to MavisStaples.com for all the latest updates and breaking news

    • ‘MAVIS!’

      NEW DOCUMENTARY TO PREMIERE AT SXSW

      MONDAY, MARCH 9th, 2015

      ‘Mavis!’ – the first feature-length documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples will premiere at SXSW 2015 on March 15th at 11am at the Paramount Theater.

      The new documentary charts Mavis’ career and her influence on both music and civil rights, from its beginnings with The Staple Singers, (who first hit the charts in 1956 with “Uncloudy Day”), to her 2013 recording, ‘One True Vine’.

      Mavis Staples will be on-hand, and following the screening, will do a Q&A and a two song performance.

      The film will screen again on Thursday the 19th at the Vimeo Theater at the Convention Center at 11:00am.

      For info about attending SXSW screenings please click here.

      Watch an exclusive preview of ‘Mavis!’ here:

    • THE STAPLE SINGERS

      FREEDOM HIGHWAY COMPLETE

      AVAILABLE TODAY!

      TUESDAY, March 3rd, 2015

      NEW YORK, March 3rd, 2015 – Legacy Recordings will release ‘Freedom Highway Complete’ - Recorded Live at Chicago’s New Nazareth Church, a newly remixed, remastered and expanded edition of the live concert masterpiece recorded by the Staple Singers in April 1965 in support and celebration of that year’s historic civil rights marches from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama.

      Freedom Highway Complete

      Freedom Highway Complete will be available as a single CD, as a digital release online, and in a special 2LP configuration on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

      Legacy’s Freedom Highway Complete is a state-of-the-art sonic verite capturing that transcendent Chicago gospel service from 50 years ago.  Featuring previously unreleased performances, the spiritually uplifting service, “Pops” Staples’ Intro and Outro and more, Freedom Highway Complete puts the listener right in the church, with the Staple Singers, the choir, the band, and the congregation for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

      An essential musical, cultural and historic document, Freedom Highway Complete presents the full concert and service in natural ambient sound, remixed and remastered from the original analog multi-track tapes.

      First released on Epic Records as an LP in 1965, the original Freedom Highway album, constrained by the time limits of 12″ vinyl, edited the New Nazareth Church concert and service down to key performance tracks.  Newly expanded to include 30+ additional minutes of the original church service, Freedom Highway Complete edition marks the first-ever release of the full concert and service.

      In March 1965, the American Civil Rights Movement galvanized around three historic voter’s rights marches along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, the state capital, public acts of protest which served as catalysts to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  The first march (March 7, 1965) was dubbed “Bloody Sunday” after 600 marchers faced the billy clubs and tear gas of local and state police forces; the second (March 9) reached a standoff between police and protestors, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; on the third march (March 21), protestors were protected by 2,000 US Army troops, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard and numerous FBI agents and federal marshals.  The route taken by the 1965 Civil Rights marchers has been named the “Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail” and is a US National Historic Trail.

      Among those inspired by the message and activism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Selma to Montgomery marchers were Chicago preacher/singer/guitarist Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his children, Pervis, Cleotha, Yvonne and Mavis.  As The Staple Singers, the family group had been recording folk-infused gospel since the 1950s, and, by 1965, had been signed to Epic Records by Billy Sherrill (the songwriter/producer who would bring George Jones and Tammy Wynette to the label).

      On April 9, 1965, The Staple Singers returned to their local parish, New Nazareth Church in Chicago, to participate in a service inspired by the Alabama marches.  In a spirit-filled set that runs from Civil Rights anthems (“We Shall Overcome”) to traditional gospel (“When The Saints Go Marching In”), The Staple Singers introduced their own original material, including the just-composed “Freedom Highway,” inspired by the Selma to Montgomery marches.

      Throughout the set, “Pops” Staples showcases the six-string guitar skills that transformed, and united the worlds of gospel, R&B, soul, rock and blues music.  An archetypal electric guitar master, his influence can be heard in the sounds of Curtis Mayfield, Steve Cropper, John Fogerty, Michael Bloomfield and many others.

      A pivotal event for the Staple Singers, the Freedom Highway Complete performance is described, by Mavis Staples, in Greg Kot’s acclaimed 2014 book, I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom’s Highway (Scribner’s) as one of the most important moments of her career.

      In the Staple Singers Essential Discography included in I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom’s Highway, author Greg Kot singles out the original 1965 release of Freedom Highway, writing, “The Staples mix gospel fervor with fierce protest music on their home turf, a concert at New Nazareth Church on Chicago’s South Side.  One of the best live albums ever made (though sadly out of print).”

      On page 106 of his book, Kot writes, “In the New Nazareth Church concert, Pops connects the themes of gospel music and the civil rights movement more explicitly than ever before. It presents him not just as a musical innovator, but as a philosopher, preacher, and visionary, a melding of black church music and black popular music for a common cause. Church music was no longer just about making it through this world to get to the next one; it was also about living right now in the streets all African Americans shared.”

      Five decades after Selma-Montgomery Freedom Marches and this jubilant celebratory concert, Freedom Highway Complete takes on a new social and cultural relevance and urgency in light of current events.  Produced by Nedra Olds-Neal and Steve Berkowitz, this newly expanded edition features additional material cut from the original release, all newly mixed by Steve Addabbo and mastered by Mark Wilder. The new Freedom Highway Complete is a crucial document of this remarkable and important time in American history.

      About The Staple Singers

      The Staple Singers story begins in Winona, Mississippi, with the birth of Roebuck “Pops” Staples on December 28, 1914.  A contemporary and protege of mythic rural blues guitarist Charley Patton, “Pops” Staples developed his own repertoire of six string skills, playing at local dances, picnics and church services.  In 1931, he became a member of the Golden Trumpets, singing and playing guitar with the Mississippi gospel jubilee quartet.  Part of the great migration of black Americans who moved north for better paying factory jobs, Pops relocated to Chicago in 1936, playing gospel music with the Windy City’s Trumpet Jubilees.  In the mid 1950s, he presented his daughters, Cleotha and Mavis, and his son, Pervis, to a church audience.  From that time on, The Staple Singers have been a powerful force in American gospel, soul and popular music.

      Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, The Staple Singers won the 1992 Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award and took home a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

      Click here to buy ‘Freedom Highway Complete’

    • POPS STAPLES

      NEW ALBUM & MINI-DOC

      TUESDAY, February 17th, 2015

      (via Pitchfork)

      Watch a brand-new mini-documentary about the making of Pops Staples’ final album, ‘Don’t Lose This’ – released today on Anti Records:

    • POPS STAPLES’

      NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE TODAY!

      TUESDAY, February 17th, 2015

      (via NPR)

      More than 15 years ago, Roebuck “Pops” Staples started recording his final album with his daughters, Mavis, Cleotha and Yvonne of the gospel-R&B family act The Staple Singers. Pops was ailing, but his voice was strong.

      In time he became too weak to finish the album, and one day he called Mavis to his sickbed and asked her to play him a rough recording. She left him alone with the music, and when she came back, he smiled and told her, “Mavis, don’t lose this.”

      She didn’t. When she was ready, she asked her friend Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco to help her fill in the gaps on the recording. This week they’re releasing the final Pops Staples album, Don’t Lose This, together. Mavis Staples says it’s been a long time coming.

      “I would just break into tears anytime I heard Pops’ voice on these records. There never was a point that we didn’t want to release them; it was just the timing,” she says. “I knew that the record needed tweaking, so I said, who else to help me with this but my friend Jeff Tweedy? And he did that, and Tuesday we’ll have Pops on the radio.”

      Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy joined guest host Indira Lakshmanan on Weekend Edition Sunday to talk about Pops’ playfulness, the tremolo sound that made his guitar work so distinctive, and how he taught his young children to sing like “old folk.” Hear their conversation at the audio link here

      Stay tuned to MavisStaples.com and PopsStaples.com for the latest updates!

    • WALL STREET JOURNAL

      TALKS POPS STAPLES

      TUESDAY, February 3rd, 2015

      By Eric R. Danton
      The Wall Street Journal

      When Staple Singers patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples died in 2000, he left behind a collection of half-finished songs, along with instructions for his daughter Mavis: “Don’t lose this.” Now his admonition doubles as the title of his final album, “Don’t Lose This,” which Mavis Staples has completed in time to mark what would have been her father’s 100th year. The 10-track album includes the song “Friendship,” which premieres today on Speakeasy..

      It’s a poignant, easygoing song that praises the virtues of, well, friendship. Pops Staples plays guitar and sings lead in a mellow tenor, with backing vocals from his daughters, Mavis, Yvonne and Cleotha Staples, who died in 2013.

      “When I listen to this song my mind goes back to when it was sent to us and Pops first heard it,” Mavis Staples says. “He loved it right off the bat. He put on his happy face, picked up his guitar and started working on it.”

      Mavis Staples completed “Don’t Lose This” with help from Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy, who produced her solo albums “You’re Not Alone” in 2010 and “One True Vine” in 2013. Tweedy played bass on “Friendship,” and his son, Spencer, played drums.

      “I’m so happy and relieved to finally get it finished,” Mavis Staples says of the album. “It’s like I kept my promise to my father. When he said to me ‘Don’t lose this,’ I knew that meant, ‘Let it be heard.’ I am so grateful for the help I’ve had from my friends in getting it finished and on being heard.”

      The Staple Singers started as a family gospel band in the late 1940s, then expanded into soul and R&B and helped provide a soundtrack to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The group landed its biggest hit, “I’ll Take You There,” in 1971, and Pops Staples began performing on his own in the 1980s after Mavis launched a solo career. “Don’t Lose This” is his third solo album in a discography that also includes “Jammed Together,” an album Pops Staples recorded with Albert King and Steve Cropper in 1969.

      “Don’t Lose This” is due Feb. 17 on dBpm/Anti- Records. (Also on the way March 3 is Freedom Highway Complete,” an expanded edition of a concert album recorded when the Staples Singers performed in 1965 at New Nazareth Church in Chicago in support of the marches on Selma.)

      Listen to the new track “Friendship” here:

      Stay tuned to MavisStaples.com and PopsStaples.com for the latest updates!

    • POPS STAPLES’

      FINAL RECORDINGS TO BE RELEASED

      MONDAY, January 12th, 2015

      On February 17th, Anti Records and dBpm Records will release Pops Staples’ final recordings in an album titled ‘Don’t Lose This’.

      The album features Pop’s original vocals and guitar work alongside new contributions and production by Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy.

      In 1990, Roebuck “Pops” Staples recorded a final session, capping an illustrious career as leader and patriarch of the Staples Singers. Unfinished at the time of his passing in 2000, the tapes went to his daughter, Mavis, who then waited for the right opportunity to finish the recording in the spirit Pops intended.

      When she began her series of remarkable collaborations with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, starting with 2010’s You Are Not Alone and continuing with 2013’s One True Vine, Mavis knew she had found the person to work on her father’s record.

      Mavis Staples: “It was meant to be our last work, but my sisters and I decided to let Pops sing, to let him have this one. … One day, Pops told me, ‘Mavis, bring that record up here, I want to hear it.’ I brought it up to the bedroom and he listened. When it was over, Pops told me, ‘Mavis, don’t lose this here.’ I said, ‘OK, Pops, I won’t lose it.’ And he just smiled. It was a moment I’ll never forget. He had this glow after listening to it; he loved it. So I kept it.”

      “I always said I was going to get it out there because Pops told me not to lose it. When he said, ‘Don’t lose this,’ that meant: ‘Let it be heard.’”

      Stay tuned to MavisStaples.com and PopsStaples.com for the latest updates!

    • ‘I’LL TAKE YOU THERE’

      CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAVIS STAPLES

      WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19th, 2014

      BREAKING NEWS: Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago has declared November 19th “Mavis Staples Day” in Mavis’ hometown, Chicago, Illinois!

      Chicago, IL – On Wednesday, November 19, an extraordinary collection of musical artists will come together for I’ll Take You There – Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples, a special concert event taping honoring one of the most influential singers of our time. The concert will take place at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL, and will feature star-studded collaborations by esteemed artists paying tribute to Mavis Staples’ music. The initial lineup includes music artists: Gregg Allman, Bonnie Raitt, Otis Clay, Ryan Bingham, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Glen Hansard, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Buddy Miller, Aaron Neville, Widespread Panic, Grace Potter, Mavis Staples, and Marty Stuart. Staples will take the stage to perform with a number of special guests throughout the night. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

      Tickets go on sale Monday, September 29 at 10am CST via ticketmaster. Tickets will also be available at the Auditorium Theatre box office or by phone at 800-745-3000.

      Grammy Award-winner Don Was will serve as music director, leading an all-star band backing the amazing performers who will take the stage at this incredible concert event taping. Keith Wortman is the creator and executive producer of the concert event. Was and Wortman’s recent work together includes extraordinary concert events honoring music icons such as Johnny Cash, Levon Helm and Gregg Allman, amongst others. I’LL TAKE YOU THERE – CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAVIS STAPLES will be filmed and recorded for multi-platform distribution.

      “There isn’t anyone Mavis doesn’t touch on a deep level,” said Was. “Not just musicians, but humans everywhere. She is truly one of the most powerful and inspiring American singers of all time.” Wortman continued, “We are privileged to produce a show of this magnitude that honors the music, love, and light that Mavis has brought to all of us throughout her career and lifetime.”

      Between the pedigree of Was and Wortman and the influence of Staples’ catalogue, I’LL TAKE YOU THERE – CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAVIS STAPLES is set to be one of the most memorable live music events of the year and decades to come.

      For more information:
      www.mavis75.com
      www.auditoriumtheatre.org

    • MAVIS TO PERFORM AT TRIBUTE CONCERT

      ‘THE LIFE & SONGS OF EMMYLOU HARRIS’

      TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6th, 2014

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday, January 10, 2015, ​Mavis will join ​an extraordinary collection of music stars ​to come together for ‘The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris: An All-Star Concert Celebration’. Mavis is thrilled ​to honor one of the most influential musicians of our time.

      The concert event taping will take place at DAR Constitution Hall, and will​ also​ feature performances by: Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Martina McBride, John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Trampled By Turtles, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Rodney Crowell, Iron & Wine, Shawn Colvin, Shovels & Rope, Joan Baez, Sara Watkins and The Milk Carton Kids.

      Emmylou Harris will take the stage to perform with a number of special guests throughout the night. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

      Tickets go on sale at November 7 at 10am EST via ticketmaster.com, or at Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800-745-3000.

      See more at: http://songsofemmylou.com

    • BONNIE RAITT & OTIS CLAY ADDED TO ALL-STAR LINEUP

      ‘I’LL TAKE YOU THERE’

      CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAVIS STAPLES

      CHICAGO, IL – November 19, 2014 – Bonnie Raitt and Otis Clay are the latest performers announced as part of the esteemed lineup of artists taking part in I’ll Take You There – Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples, a once-in-a-lifetime concert event taping honoring one of the most influential singers of our time. The concert will take place at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL on November 19.

      In addition to the newly announced performers, the concert will feature a lineup of music stars, including: Gregg Allman, Ryan Bingham, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Buddy Miller,Keb’ Mo’, Aaron Neville, Joan Osborne, Widespread Panic, Grace Potter, Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy & Spencer Tweedy and Marty Stuart.

      Mavis will take the stage to perform with a number of special guests throughout the night. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

      A final block of tickets starting at $75 is on sale now via ticketmaster. Tickets are also available at the Auditorium Theatre box office or by phone at 800-745-3000.

      Grammy Award-winner Don Was will serve as music director, leading an all-star band backing the amazing performers who will take the stage at this incredible concert event taping. Keith Wortman is the creator and executive producer of the concert event.

      Was and Wortman’s recent work together includes extraordinary concert events honoring music icons such as Johnny Cash, Levon Helm and Gregg Allman, amongst others. I’LL TAKE YOU THERE – CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAVIS STAPLES will be filmed and recorded for multi-platform distribution.

      “As the producer, I am thrilled to welcome these incredible artists to this extraordinary concert event. As a music fan, I’m in awe of this lineup and can’t wait for music history to be made. November 19th in Chicago will be epic,” said show creator and executive producer Keith Wortman.

      Between the pedigree of Was and Wortman and the influence of Staples’ catalogue, I’LL TAKE YOU THERE – CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF MAVIS STAPLES is set to be one of the most memorable live music events of the year and decades to come.

      For more information:
      www.mavis75.com
      www.auditoriumtheatre.org

      About Mavis Staples:

      For six decades, Mavis Staples has been the solid rock of American music.

      Alongside the family group she is so identified with, the Staple Singers, she has managed to transform herself as she goes, yet never alter.

      From the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s, to the engaged protest of the civil rights era, and then, amazingly, on pop radio in the Stax era with a series of soul anthems, from “I’ll Take You There” to “Respect Yourself,” Staples carried on, her warm embrace of a voice the only constant.

      How many musicians can claim this: to exist outside a scene, outside genre, yet weaving themselves into the fabric of soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, rock and blues?

      Many of the maverick names that come to mind are composers as well; that Staples has created her legacy as an interpreter of others makes her achievement all the more impressive.

      She gives voice to others; more than that, she gives voice to entire movements and to eras.

    • MAVIS TEAMS UP

      WITH THE NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS

      TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd, 2014

      Mavis has teamed up with The North Mississippi Allstars for a new track called “I’ve Been Buked” to be featured in the documentary film ‘Take Me to the River’. The film chronicles Memphis soul music. Esquire has the exclusive listen!

    • MAVIS PERFORMS

      WITH ARCADE FIRE

      WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27th, 2014

      Mavis Staples performs with Arcade Fire at Chicago’s United Center during the band’s ‘Reflektor’ tour, singing “This May Be The Last Time” (a traditional tune that the Staples Singers recorded back in 1955), and “The Last Time”, a Rolling Stones song which references the original. Watch a video of the performance here via Spin.

    • MAVIS STAPLES

      NAMED WFUV’s ARTIST OF THE YEAR!

      WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014

      Mavis Staples has been named WFUV’s Artist Of The Year! “It’s a big year for Mavis, who turns 75 this summer, and a perfect time to look back at her iconic career and her visits to WFUV.”

    • MAVIS RECOVERING

      FROM KNEE REPLACEMENT

      FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2013

      Rock and roll hall of fame singer Mavis Staples, whose June release ‘One True Vine’ has been garnering career-best praise, is recovering comfortably at her Chicago home after undergoing outpatient knee replacement surgery late last week.

      Staples had been suffering from a degenerative bone condition that made walking and even standing intolerably painful. “The first half of this year, I recorded my album and refused to let the bone-on-bone condition in my knee affect its release or my touring schedule. The only thing that made it possible was the support of my band and crew and the amazing warmth and response from the people who attend my shows.” Since completing her record in February through July 26, Staples had performed over 40 shows in 2013, including a tour of Australia and a performance with Elton John at the Grammy Awards in February. “Now he and I have both gone under the knife this year,” Staples jokes.

      The Grammy-winner, who turned 74 in July, has been touring steadily since 1954 and said “I have only cancelled a handful of shows in my life; my father Pops Staples taught us that you don’t stand up the people who come out to see you. But I was forced to cancel a few European dates in August so that I could return to Chicago to have my knee replaced.”

      The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Berger at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Berger is a specialist in minimally-invasive knee replacement, which is a key factor in allowing Staples to resume her touring career just weeks after the replacement. “I am honored to help Ms. Staples, a true legend in music,” Dr. Berger said. “It was remarkable to see Mavis walking and singing just a few hours after surgery. This new knee replacement procedure allowed her to walk out of the hospital the same day and will allow her to resume her busy tour schedule.”

      About her surgery, Staples reports, “My surgery was like a party. I was actually having fun. They were playing ‘I’ll Take You There,’ ‘Respect Yourself’–even ‘Holy Ghost’ from the new record when I was rolled into the big room. I was signing autographs. Next thing I know I was waking up in recovery. As someone who has a slight fear of the doctor, this has been quite an experience.”

      Staples was not shy about sharing her condition with her fans, many of whom responded with letters, emails and notes on Facebook. Fan Susan Hiraishi of Toronto wrote to Staples, “I saw you in Toronto in June and saw how much your knee was bothering you. I want to share with you that I had mine done eight weeks ago and I feel fantastic. I am pain free and I am on my way to doing everything. Before you know it you will be pain free and back on the stage.”

      Total knee replacement has become one of the most common surgical procedures as the baby boomer generation ages, with over 650,000 Americans having the procedure done this year, nearly double the number from ten years ago.

      Now undergoing intensive physical therapy in her home, Staples will hit the road again with a vengeance, starting with a hometown show at Chicago’s Hideout Music Festival September 6, less than a month after her surgery. Also this Fall are dates with Bonnie Raitt in October, followed by a trip to Europe to play Royal Albert Hall in London.

      ‘One True Vine’, produced by WILCO’s Jeff Tweedy, was named as one of ‘Entertainment Weekly’s’ 10 Biggest Albums of the Summer alongside releases by Kanye West and Beyonce, and Staples has appeared on ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘Conan’ to promote the record, as well as supporting select Dave Matthews Band dates earlier this summer.

    • MAVIS’ NEW LP

      ONE TRUE VINE, PRODUCED BY WILCO’S JEFF TWEEDY, OUT TODAY

      TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2013

      album_2013

      From features in TIME and New York Magazine to the Wall Street Journal and SPIN, Mavis Staples is earning career-best praise for her new Jeff Tweedy-produced album, One True Vine (out today via Anti-). Watch her recent performance on The Daily Show, catch her on Conan tonight, and stream the full album here.

      Mavis will celebrate the album release with a performance at the Fonda in LA tomorrow night and play two shows with Dave Matthews Band June 28-29 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. See below for what the critics are saying:

      “Determinedly celebratory.” -New York Times

      “Joyous singing and jagged guitar solos.” -EW

      “A slow burn well-suited to Staples’ rich, dusky voice.” -NPR

      “Intimate and personal.” -USA Today

      “Spectacular.” -The Independent

      “Glowing with warmth.” -The Guardian

      “Sweet, surprising…there isn’t much [Mavis] can’t make gorgeous.” -Rolling Stone

      “Stirring.” -SPIN

      “Fresh.” -Wall Street Journal

      “Delving deep into her rich history.” -TIME

      “A truly golden album.” -BlackBook

      “Staples’ passion for transcendence comes across as an unwavering creed.” -Relix

    • MAVIS RETURNS

      TO NEW ZEALAND IN APRIL WITH WILCO

      WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2013

      Alt-country superstars Wilco are teaming up with Mavis for what promises to be two of the most essential shows of 2013. Mavis will be heading to NZ straight from the studio, where she is once again recording with Jeff Tweedy.

      Friday, April 5th – Wellington Town Hall

      Saturday, April 6th – Auckland Town Hall

      Tickets on sale now. For more show & ticketing info, visit Muchmore Music.

    • MAVIS PERFORMS

      AT GRAMMY CEREMONY THIS SUNDAY

      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013

      Renowned soul and gospel singer Mavis Staples will be performing at this year’s Grammy Award Ceremony on Sunday in Los Angeles. Staples will be singing with Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), T. Bone Burnett, Zac Brown and others in a performance honoring the late singer/drummer Levon Helm of The Band with a performance of the the group’s beloved song “The Weight.”
      Staples will also be appearing on Friday at a benefit concert for MusiCares honoring the charity’s “Person of the Year” Bruce Springsteen. She will be singing with Zac Brown. Additional performers that night will include Neil Young, Jackson Brown, Elton John, Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith and a host of other prominent musicians.

      Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and Staples are currently in the studio working on her upcoming 2013 release. The album will be the highly anticipated follow up to her critically lauded album You Are Not Alone which was also produced by Tweedy and won a Grammy Award in the Best Americana Album vocal or Instrumental category. The record was described by Time Magazine as “Gorgeous” and by Spin as “Inspired.” Mavis Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

      “…a voice that has only gained texture and power over the years…”—Pitchfork

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