For over fifty years, Mavis Staples has been a national treasure, working her vocal magic on the highways and byways of gospel, folk and soul music. With both her family group, the Staple Singers, and as a solo artist in her own right she has helped to define much of what is righteous and soulful in American music. In the early 1960s, the Staple Singers began to work with Dr. Martin Luther King singing in support of the Civil Rights movement.
Mavis Staples recently completed work on We’ll Never Turn Back, the most personal and polemical album of her career. Set for April 24, 2007 release, the album was produced by Ry Cooder, and marks Mavis’ debut for Anti- Records.
We’ll Never Turn Back combines raw, emotional, contemporized versions of some of the freedom songs that provided the soundtrack to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, along with other traditional songs, and new originals written by Mavis and Ry.
“Like many in the civil rights movement, The Staples Singers drew on the spirituality and strength of the church to help gain social justice and to try to achieve equal rights,” says Mavis. “With this record, I hope to get across the same feeling, the same spirit and the same message as we did then—and to hopefully continue to make positive changes. Things are better but we’re not where we need to be and we’ll never turn back.”
A Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee and one of VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, Mavis has blazed a rhythm & blues trail while never relinquishing her gospel roots. Her voice has influenced artists from Bob Dylan to Prince (who calls her "the epitome of soul") and she has appeared with everyone from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bill Cosby, Presidents Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, to Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Santana, Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and has recorded with Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, Aretha Franklin, Marty Stuart and many others.
Live On Stage:
Mavis Staples' most recognizable work has come as member of the legendary Staples Singers - I'm sure most of you out there have heard this song, just probably didn't know who it was. She's also had quite the solo career as well. Here's Mavis on her own doing "Have A Little Faith"....
Also going to throw in this performance from The Last Waltz, since Mavis just kills on this version of The Weight....
Got one show for you...
Mavis Staples & The Staple Swingers - ??-??-1995 - Live at Ohne Filter Extra - Baden baden, Germany
Mavis has just released a brand new album called We'll Never Turn Back, here's the first single off that album "Eyes On The Prize"....
And here's her only other video that I can find, it's from way back in '93 - "Here's The Voice"....
For more on Mavis check out her official website.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007