Leigh MichaelWednesday,3 July 2013

The Snap:

Blues singer/gospel singer/civil rights activist/general rockstar Mavis Staples released her fourteenth album, One True Vine, on 25 June. The song was produced by Wilco bandmember Jeff Tweedy; this is the duo’s second collaboration. Tweedy also produced the infectuous You Are Not Alone back in 2010. Snag a copy of One True Vine via iTunes and stream a sampling of the songs through Anti Records.

The Download:

I feel like I could go into a bunch of metaphors here – but when it comes to describing Mavis Staples, two words seem to do her the most justice. Cool and Talented. This woman possesses unruffled poise that has carried her through the days of the The Staple Singers and her collaborations with Bob Dylan.

Mavis Staples set a tough precedent for herself. While a member of her family band, she became famous for songs like “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” Then there was the epic collaboration with The Band for The Last Waltz’s rendition of “The Weight.” I mean, she stole the show. And that’s a big feat when you’re up against the likes of Levon Helm and Rick Danko.

Her impressive solo career was dappled with evidence of her talent. When you can outshine one of the world’s most iconic musicians… Well, that’s success.

One True Vine is laced with songs by other artists, creating an homage to the breadth of talent that permeates the industry. We’ve got Nick Lowe’s “Far Celestial Shore;” Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That;” Tweedy’s own “One True Vine.” Some of the songs are notably subdued – but punctuations like “Woke Up This Morning” re-introduce life into the album.

If you’re looking for an album that will make you feel good, check on One True Vine. It’s got all the trappings of the “oldie but goodie” songs that you are always excited to hear on the radio…. Except it’s new material. Awesome.

Also, a parting bit of fun: Watch Mavis Staples and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler do a seriously kickass cover of “The Weight” at Outside Lands:

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Hat Tips:

NPR, Pitchfork, Anti Records, Mavis Staples, Image Credit: Flickr

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