Mavis Staples comes from Gospel, soul and R&B royalty. Singing in the family band The Staple Singers, led by family patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples, she made history by being one of the moost ground-breaking spirituality-based group in America. By the mid-1960s The Staple Singers, helped support the civil rights movement when Pops became close friends with Martin Luther King, Jr. They also had hits with covers of contemporary secular pop hits with positive messages, including Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and a version of Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth.”
According to her Bob Dylan was so taken with her that he asked Pops for Mavis’ hand in marriage. I assume Pops didn’t care for that idea.
With that legacy it’s hard to believe that Staples’ first Grammy was won for the Best Americana Album category You Are Not Alone in 2011. I was at the event and in her acceptance speech a crying Staples said “This has been a long time coming.”
On her upcoming release ‘One True Vine (June 25th – Anti Records) will again partner with You Are Not Alone producer and collaborator Jeff Tweedy.
Tweedy and singer-songwriter Nick Lowe wrote songs specifically for the album. The Wilco frontman and his 17-year-old son Spencer played nearly every instrument on the record. Recorded at The Loft in Chicago, the 10-track album also includes Staples covering Funkadelic and Low.
Listen to her version of Funkadelic’s “Can You Get To That” and check out the full One True Vine track list below.
One True Vine Track List:
1. Holy Ghost
2. Every Step
3. Can You Get to That
4. Jesus Wept
5. Far Celestial Shores
6. What Are They Doing in Heaven Today
7. Sow Good Seeds
8. I Like the Things About Me
9. Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind on Jesus)
10. One True Vine