Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Livin' on a High Note

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Livin' on a High Note

Article excerpt

LIVIN' ON A HIGH NOTE

Mavis Staples (ANTI-, 2016)

Mavis Staples is enjoying an impressive late-career renaissance. Over the last 10 years she's steadily enriched the American songbook with her own unique blend of religious and socially conscious music.

Collaborating with talents the likes of Ry Cooder, Jeff Tweedy, and M. Ward, Staples has brought to life a gospel sound that not only harkens back to the diverse musical genres of this country but also reminds us that the gospel has real political consequences. Add to that her rich, expressive voice seasoned by a life committed to building racial equality and you have an amazing artist.

Livin' on a High Note, Staples' latest album, shows her in a jubilant mood. From the first few bars of the opening track "Take Us Back," with its up-front groovy bass and fast-talking cadence, the exuberance of this album is instantly apparent. The syncopated and percussive "Action" keeps this upbeat energy going. …

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