By

Listen to alternate versions of Arcade Fire / Mavis Staples collab “I Give You Power,” benefitting the ACLU

arcade fire
Arcade Fire | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Following up on last week’s “I Give You Power” collaboration with Mavis Staples, Arcade Fire have shared two new versions of the single – a full instrumental cut and a choppier “Broken Speaker” remix. The song (and the “alternative songs”) marks the Canadian outfit’s first new material since 2013’s Reflektor and benefits the American Civil Liberties Union.

Continue reading →

By

This Day in Music History: Creedence Clearwater Revival release their 3rd album of 1969, The Police release their debut

The Police Outlandos d'Amour

1920 – KDKA in Pittsburgh becomes the first commercially licensed radio station in the United States. With consumers unsure about benefits of radio, the station announces results of the Harding-Cox presidential election, getting the news to those with a radio much faster than everyone who had to wait for the morning paper.

Continue reading →

By

XPN Fest Recap: Mavis Staples takes us there with a powerful River Stage performance

Mavis Staples | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Mavis Staples | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

After singing “Freedom Highway,” Mavis Staples shared the story behind the song written by her father in 1962. “Pops Staples wrote that song for the big march,” she told us of the iconic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. “I was there, and I’m still here…I’m a living witness, a soldier!” she said. Staples went on to say that she’s part of an army of love, fighting for hope and peace.

It was a well-timed moment from a timeless musician. In a weekend where one performer told the festival faithful that the evils of the world were the reasoning behind him cutting his performance short, Staples took the opposite approach. She provided the antidote to the evils of the world, a performance full of heart and happiness. The 77-year-old used every ounce of soul in her to put together a show even better than what her household reputation called for. Continue reading →

By

Mavis Staples added to XPoNential Music Festival lineup, daily set times announced

Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples | Photo by Chris Strong | courtesy of the artist

Just last night she joined Bob Dylan at The Mann, and now we are pleased to inform you that Mavis Staples has been added to the lineup of our annual XPoNential Music Festival. The soul-singing legend will play the River Stage in Wiggins Park on Sunday, July 24th. Staples had her first hit in 1957 and released an album this year. Yes, you read that correctly. It seems like nothing can stop the 76-year-old, so when it comes to last minute additions, it doesn’t get much better than this. Continue reading →

By

Livin’ legend Mavis Staples to grace Berks Jazz Fest

Mavis Staples | Photo by Chris Strong | courtesy of the artist
Mavis Staples | Photo by Chris Strong | courtesy of the artist

There’s only one Mavis.  By this point in her storied, singular career, Mavis Staples’ legacy as a soul music legend and civil rights activist is well past secure.  Her iconic, imitable voice, sixty years on from scoring her first gospel hit with the Staple Singers in 1957, remains a vital, “could sing the phone book”-type national treasure.  But the 76-year-old – who’ll light up Scottish Rite Cathedral as part of the Berks Jazz Fest this Friday, before returning to Philly this summer to open for old flame Bobby Dylan at the Mann – shows no signs of slowing down or resting on her laurels. Continue reading →

By

XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “High Note” by Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples | Photo courtesy of the artist
Mavis Staples | Photo courtesy of the artist

Legendary R&B singer Mavis Staples is releasing her new album, Livin’ On A High Note on February 19th. Produced by singer-songwriter M. Ward, who has a new solo album of his own coming out on March 4th, the Staples collection features Mavis singing songs written by an all-star cast of collaborators. Aside from M. Ward, High Note features songs by Neko Case, Justin Vernon, Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Tune-Yards, Aloe Blacc, Benjamin Booker, The Head and the Heart, and Philly’s Son Little. Continue reading →