Gospel and soul legend Mavis Staples’ latest album, Livin’ on a High Note, sees Staples, now in her 70s, performing tunes written just for her, by a wide variety of contemporary songwriters.
Songwriters include Nick Cave, Justin Vernon, tUnE-yArds, Neko Case, Aloe Blacc, Ben Harper, Benjamin Booker, Valerie June, and M. Ward, who also produced.
Of course, Jeff Turmes is handling the bass work for Staples, known not only for her career as a solo vocalist, but also as part of The Staple Singers.
“I think about this album as a new beginning in my career,” Staples says. “I’m living on a high note, I’m floating on air. I know I don’t have as much time on this Earth as I’ve already had, but I see it as saying, ‘Mavis has been here, y’all.’ Before I move on, I just want to leave some Mavis with you that you’re not used to hearing that might keep you perked up a little longer. I want to leave you with some joy and love, and some don’t-forget-me songs.”
Check out the track, “High Note” (first video) and an HBO documentary about Staples is on the way, too (second video):
Livin’ on a High Note Track List:
- Take Us Back
- Love and Trust
- If It’s a Light
- High Note
- Don’t Cry
- History Now
- One Love
- Jesus Lay Down Beside Me
- MLK Song