Mavis Staples to Release New Album With Compositions from Neko Case to Nick Cave
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 12:55:09
Legendary soul singer (and all-around beautiful soul) Mavis Staples is set to release Livin' On A High Note, her new M. Ward-produced album, February 19th on Anti- Records. The album features custom compositions from Valerie June (who scored the title track), Benjamin Booker, Ben Harper, The Head and the Heart, tUnE-yArDs, M. Ward, Aloe Blacc/Jon Batiste, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Neko Case, Son Little, and Nick Cave, along with a freedom song inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
“I've been singing my freedom songs and I wanted to stretch out and sing some songs that were new," Staples says. “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, '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."
All this joy from a woman, the press release reminds us, who sold “a million gospel records, [walked] beside Dr. Martin Luther King, [helped] lead the '70s soul-power movement, [sang] under the spotlight during The Last Waltz, [served] as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, and [won] over 21st-century fans with a trio of deeply spiritual solo albums produced by Ry Cooder (2007's We'll Never Turn Back) and by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy (2010's Grammy winning You Are Not Alone and 2013's critically acclaimed and Grammy-nominated One True Vine)."
Ms. Staples is the subject of the upcoming documentary, Mavis!, debuting on leap day, Monday. February 29, on HBO.
Listen to “High Note" by Mavis Staples (written by Valerie June):
Watch the trailer for 'Mavis!'
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
Buy Mavis Staples music on iTunes