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Mavis Staples is living, breathing history. She is an alchemist of American music, having 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 hip hop, this iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road.
At the beginning of her eighth decade of singing truth, Mavis Staples has delivered “If All I Was Was Black” (ANTI- Records), ten songs about America today, where the present is filled with ghosts of the past. “Nothing has changed,” Mavis said in early August, just days before the world watched neo-Nazis march with swastika flags in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a young woman was murdered. “We are still in it.”
“If All I Was Was Black” represents Mavis’ third collaboration with songwriter and producer (and Wilco frontman) Jeff Tweedy. Their first partnership in 2010, “You Are Not Alone”, won a Grammy Award for Best Americana album. Their second effort together, “One True Vine”, was a Grammy nominee. But “If All I Was Was Black” marks the first time Tweedy has composed an entire album of original songs for Mavis’ legendary voice and a nation she’s uniquely poised to address.
Boiler Shop is delighted to welcome her to Newcastle on Friday 13 July 2018.
Plus Support Benjamin Booker
“Benjamin Booker makes retro music feel modern … on Witness’ acoustic and naked electric blues and soul, the opposing forces of a lush or refined landscape and Booker’s gravely voice work in concert.” Pitchfork Album Review, 8.1
“An urgent synthesis of blues, gospel and soul…with a raw and unforgiving candor that’s reminiscent of downtown New York punk.” Mic
This event is at Boiler Shop (Stephenson Works), 20 South St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PE.