Monday, January 05, 2009

Best of 2008: Mavis Staples

Another one of my favorite albums from this year came from a singer that's been around for over forty years. Mavis Staples released a live album this year called Live: Hope At The Hideout. Mavis has been singing since she was a child with her family The Staple Singers. Last year she released We'll Never Turn Back, an album of civil right songs. This live album is culled mostly from that album but a few other songs thrown in. It was recorded at a small club in Chicago called, of course, the Hideout. Mavis is in great voice. One of the new songs on this album is the old Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth." Her inbetween song chatter is worth listening to. I like live albums where you can hear the audience. I hate those live albums that dial down the crowd so all you hear is the singer. If I wanted that I'd have the original album. A live album should be an interplay between the audience and the performer. On this album there is, Mavis talking about her past and her family, telling the story of the first song Pops taught her to sing. In the end she has the audience singing along as if they were at a church revival.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken | Music Codes
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