All posts tagged: Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples

Saturday Soundtrack: Mavis Staples

There is no better musical artist to celebrate during The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend than American icon and national treasure Mavis Staples. Her reach and impact as a once-in-a-generation artist has been astounding. Staples is a member of both the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy Award winner, a Kennedy Center honoree, and a recipient of the National Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. As someone who began singing during the civil rights movement and marched with Dr. King, her longevity in the spotlight is a testament to her magnificent talent. Mavis Staples performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and sang at President Barack Obama’s White House. And she’s still going strong. “At a time when most artists begin to wind down, Staples ramped things up, releasing a trio of critically acclaimed albums in her 70’s with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy that prompted Pitchfork to rave that ‘her voice has only gained texture and power over the years’ and People to proclaim that she ‘provides the comfort …

Kate Wolf albums to be reissued

California singer-songerwriter Kate Wolf died of leukemia at the age of 44 in 1986, but her songs continue to live on today. Dirty Linen, the folk music website, had a recent post reporting that Wolf’s catalog of folk albums will be reissued this July.  Here’s how Dirty Linen describes Wolf’s work and influence: Her blend of folk, country and pop helped pave the way for artists like Nanci Griffith and Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Wolf never had a hit single, and in fact the All Music Guide points out that “her style is one that tends to grow on listeners over time, as Wolf is not about flash. Her songs, characterized by a strong narrative thread, are about the ebbs and flows of adult life, in terms that are neither overly sentimental not mundane.” As late singer-songwriter Utah Phillips once introduced her, “I’d like you to meet Kate Wolf. She owns herself.” For those of you in California, check out the 2009 Kate Wolf Memorial Festival on June 26-28.  There’s a strong line-up headlined by Emmylou Harris, …

More on the Inauguration

In searching the Internet this morning, I found a post on the Daily Kos’ Street Prophets section on faith that discussed the difference between the prayers of Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery at Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony.  I recommend the entire post, but I loved the ending enough to add it here.  Pastor Dan writes, As a Facebook friend says, “Rev. Lowrey is to Rick Warren as Mavis Staples is to Britney Spears.” Yep, pretty much. That’s a great line…and very true.  If you don’t know Mavis Staples, listen to the following video.  And the images are a poignant reminder of why so many people were quoted yesterday as saying, “I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime.”  More to come… DJB