Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS

In concert: Mavis Staples at Lisner Auditorium

mavis staplesChurch service started early with Mavis Staples on Saturday night. (Marvin Joseph/TWP)

By Chris Klimek

Mavis Staples showed up early for church this weekend - about 12 hours early. The youngest of the Staples singers, now a spry septuagenarian whose husky voice has only grown in authority in the 38 years since "I'll Take You There" was a No. 1 hit, brought a trunkload of soul songs and marches to Lisner Auditorium last night for a stirring 85-minute revue that conjured the presence of the Lord. She came to play, and to proselytize - for Jesus and for "You Are Not Alone," her new album produced and curated by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, which she more than once suggested makes a fine Christmas gift.

Well, it ain't like she's wrong! Like that album, the show was a mix of reinvigorated gospel staples and Staples classics, plus Randy Newman and Creedence covers and a handful of well-mannered new stuff. The chugging, Tweedy-penned "Only the Lord Knows" fit seamlessly alongside The Band's "The Weight" and the Staples' Civil Rights anthem, "Freedom Highway." "Pops wrote that one for the march from Selma to Montgomery," Staples recalled while catching her breath after a version of the latter that shook butts out of their seats. Often she became so exercised during her performances that she'd continue chanting the chorus, call and response style, after her band had finished a song.

Staples got able, supple support from four backing singers, but it was her three-piece blues-rock trio led by guitarist Rick Holmstrum that busted songs like Little Milton's "We're Gonna Make It" and Allen Toussaint's "Last Train" free of the occasionally too-polite arrangements Tweedy gave them on record. The trio held the audience rapt with a searing 10-minute instrumental interlude while Staples left the stage. When she returned, Holmstrum's nervy rhythm guitar helped her reclaim "I'll Take You There" from its car-advertisement ubiquity. "We've been takin' y'all there for 60 years!" Staples declared. "And we ain't tired yet!"

By Click Track  | October 11, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Interview  | Tags:  Mavis Staples  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Remembering Solomon Burke; Adam Lambert protested in Malaysia; WPFW celebrates Indigenous People's Day
Next: In concert: Hank Williams, Jr. and Jamey Johnson at the Patriot Center

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company