Mavis Staples

Music, Funk, soul and disco
Mavis Staples performed at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island during Farm Aid 30, September 19, 2015.
Photograph: Max Herman

Septuagenarian gospel legend Mavis Staples has been on a roll ever since her 2010 collaboration with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, You Are Not Alone. The pair's latest record—a collection of topical anthems entitled If All I Was Was Black—might be its finest yet. Tweedy wraps Staples' resolute vocals around understated R&B and funk instrumentals, allowing her message of unity and peace to resonate throughout the deeply personal songs. When Staples sings, "We've got work to do," she still sounds hopeful, in spite of the state of the world.

By: Zach Long


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