To The Maxx


cvil-rights danceparty
May 14, 2007, 7:09 am
Filed under: music

Mavis Staples, back in the day

so this new mavis staples album came out with little fanfare. i saw an ad for it in harp magazine (which, as far as current music mags go, is so up my alley) and a friend mentioned that it was coming out and then suddenly it was out. people, i had to get it instantly. i needed a hard copy. i needed to own it.

now i don’t own any staples singers records. i sure don’t. i bought this record because it has the good old ry cooder stamp of approval. yessir, when old ry joins forces with another artist (be they obscure cuban jazz cats or malian guitarists or old east l.a. legends) you’ve got to take notice.

add to the ranks soul/gospel royalty. the album is “we’ll never turn back” on ANTI-, produced by ry. personae: mavis staples on vox, ry cooder on guitars, mike elizondo on bass (he’s a superproducer, dr. dre protege dude), jim keltner on drums, joachim cooder (son of ry, drummer of hello stranger) on percussion, featuring ladysmith black mambazo and the freedom singers on backing vocals.

do yourself a favor and go get this album. it’s got such snarl, such intensity and a real sense of urgency and hope… a handful of civil-rights era traditionals recontextualized, rearranged, revitalized by the passion in mavis’ voice and the brilliance of the band. sure, they’re old songs with old messages, but they are currently as relevant as ever.

these jams are for NOW, dig?

MP3: MAVIS STAPLES “99 AND 1/2”
(buy) (website)

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