The album, 'If All I Was Was Black', is out this month.
There's a reason why Mavis Staples remains a legend in R&B and soul music, and it's not just because she has one of the smoothest voices in the genre. With her new song 'Build A Bridge', she addresses the political state of the world and expresses her wishes for a more inclusive world.
Mavis Staples at Latitude Festival
The 78-year-old soul diva unveils a new song from her forthcoming sixteenth studio album 'If All I Was Was Black', which has been written and produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. It's an exploration of the injustices of today's political climate, and harkens back to the days of her Staples Singers career.
Continue reading: Mavis Staples Wants To 'Build A Bridge' With Her Sensational New Single
In political turmoil, these musicians are donating to the ACLU.
Arcade Fire have teamed up with Mavis Staples to release a brand new charity single entitled 'I Give You Power'. It's been unveiled as a kind of morale boost, showing solidarity between citizens as the world tunes in to the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.
Arcade Fire and Mavis Staples unveil 'I Give You Power'
The new song is one of many to be released recently in discontentment of the state of US politics. But from a troubling and uncertain situation, Arcade Fire and Mavis Staples are hoping to raise money for a very good cause. All proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); a non-profit organisation that aims to take action in defending the human rights of American citizens.
She's truly 'Livin' On A High Note'.
It's always exciting when a musical legend resurfaces for a particularly exciting project. Though, of course, every release Mavis Staples helms is always a thrill. But now she returns with a few friends, enlisting some well-established and rising stars of the music world to write her latest album 'Livin' On A High Note'.
Mavis Staples returns with an awesome new project
Produced by She & Him singer M. Ward, the album follows the release of her 2015 debut EP 'Your Good Fortune', and comes three years since her thirteenth solo album 'One True Vine'. Among some of the famous songwriters are M. Ward himself, who wrote 'Don't Cry' and collaborated with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on 'Dedicated'; soul crooner Aloe Blacc with multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste; garage rocker Benjamin Booker; The New Pornographers' Neko Case; post-punk icon Nick Cave; and Tennessee Americana talent Valerie June who delivers the semi-titular track 'High Note'.
Continue reading: Mavis Staples Bands Together Old And New Artists For Uplifting Album
Doug Aitken is a multimedia artist who takes an in-depth look at society's art today; with the likes of music, dance and physical artwork in mind. On his exploration, he takes a 4,000 mile trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (that's New York to San Francisco) picking up a variety of artists along the way and making stops to witness some incredible 'happenings' throughout the country. He gets the chance to speak to musicians in their droves, all eager to open up about their experiences and interpretations of their art. The trip takes place over 24 days and features such spectacles as Beck being joined by a gospel choir in the enormous Mojave desert; an expanse which spans California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. 'Station To Station' is an artistic documentary roadtrip with a difference. Directed by Doug Aitken ('The Source'), it includes appearances from some 43 musicians and artists including Beck, Jackson Browne, Thurston Moore, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Cat Power, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Dan Deacon, Cold Cave and many, many more. The movie is set to be released in cinemas on June 26th 2015, after which the Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening event will kick off.
Motorhead, FFS and George Clinton make for exciting surprise additions.
Chicago proves great things come in small packages with this year's impressive AV Fest/The Hideout Block Party line-up.
The AV Fest and Hideout Block Party mark one of the most chilled out, family friendly and joyful small music event of the year as it kick starts the autumn with some talented artists.
There have been some pretty impressive festival line-ups from a variety of major Chicago festivals including the likes of Lollapalooza and Pitchfork, but the smaller, lesser known events should not be forgotten in their role of making the 2013 summer one of the best. The Onion's AV Club and The Hideout had banded together for their seventeenth annual AV Fest/Hideout Block Party; a two-day event over the September 6th - 7th weekend with tickets priced between $30 and $70 that takes place at The Hideout bar in Chicago, Illinois; and it was certainly one to remember.
Just as Wattstax the event was a serious social event that just so happened to include a little music, Wattstax the movie is much less a concert film (a la Woodstock or The Last Waltz) and much more a talking head documentary with musical interludes. Depending on your frame of mind, that can be a good or a bad thing. But director Mel Stuart (who made Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory two years earlier) is probably not the perfect person to take a camera into Los Angeles to ask black residents how things have changed (or not) since the riots seven years earlier. There's frankly just not a lot of insight to be gained from the poorly shot man-on-the-street footage.
Continue reading: Wattstax Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.