Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mavis Staples' Livin' On A High Note out Feb 19, Mavis! documentary screens on HBO Feb 26

Producer M Ward enlisted Nick Cave and other contemporary artists to write songs for Mavis Staples' new album. 

Mavis Staples is an alchemist of American music, and has continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles. Weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and even hip hop over the better part of the last 60 years, the iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road unwaveringly.

Along the way, she has learned from, worked with, and schooled countless legends from all arenas, and has brought her own timeless talent to each and every performance. Who else can claim to have answered the call time and time again, to become a leading voice of not just a generation, but of multiple eras and in myriad manifestations? Who else was there to sell a million gospel records, walk beside Dr. Martin Luther King, to help lead the ‘70s soul-power movement, to sing under the spotlight during The Last Waltz, to serve as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince, and to win over 21st-century fans with a trio of deeply spiritual albums: 2007’s We’ll Never Turn Back 2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine.

With the release of her new album Livin’ On A High Note, she continues to gain momentum.  Referencing and drawing from her past while taking the music to fresh places, Mavis and her team recruited a unique dozen of today’s heralded and up-and-coming artists to write songs for the record including Nick CaveBen HarperTune-Yards, Benjamin BookerNeko Case, Justin Vernon, Son Little, M. Ward—with Ward also tapped to produce the album in full. Conspicuously absent from the list of contributing writers is Jeff Tweedy who produced her last two albums.

“I’ve been singing my freedom songs and I wanted to stretch out and sing some songs that were new,” says Mavis. “I told the writers I was looking for some joyful songs. I want to leave something to lift people up; I’m so busy making people cry, not from sadness, but I’m always telling a part of history that brought us down and I’m trying to bring us back up. These songwriters gave me a challenge. They gave me that feeling of, ‘Hey, I can hang! I can still do this!’ There’s a variety, and it makes me feel refreshed and brand new. Just like Benjamin Booker wrote on the opening track (Take Us Back), ‘I got friends and I got love around me, I got people, the people who love me.’ I’m living on a high note, I’m above the clouds. I’m just so grateful. I must be the happiest old girl in the world. Yes, indeed.”

Listen to the title track High Note composed by talented Memphis singer/songwriter Valerie June followed by the trailer for Jessica Edwards' feature-length documentary Mavis!

Livin’ On A High Note (Anti-) 
Take Us Back (Benjamin Booker)
Love And Trust (Ben Harper)
If It’s A Light (The Head & The Heart)
Action (Tune-Yards)
High Note (Valerie June)
Don’t Cry (M. Ward)
Tomorrow (Aloe Blacc/John Batiste)
Dedicated (Justin Vernon/M. Ward)
History Now (Neko Case)
One Love (Son Little)
Jesus Lay Down Beside Me (Nick Cave)
MLK Song (M Ward/ Martin Luther King)

No comments:

Post a Comment