Despite turning 80 this summer, Mavis Staples is showing no signs of slowing down. A week before its official release, the legendary singer, has shared her new album We Get By via NPR Music’s First Listen. Written with Ben Harper, the album is an intense and moving body of work. In line with her recent output, the music feels of the present, but in touch with the past. It is a rich listen, marked by Staples’ luxurious sounding voice.
With tracks like “Change” and “Brothers and Sisters”, the record reveals itself to be a continuation of the vital work The Staples Sisters did in the peak of the Civil Rights Era. It is also an acute reminder that the work is far from done. Elsewhere, Staples looks inward, like on “Heavy On My Mind” where she sounds perfectly isolated. The album is an exquisite testament to Staples’ talent and ongoing commitment to bettering the world.
This week Staples is playing shows to celebrate her upcoming birthday. The “Mavis & Friends Celebrating 80 Years of Mavis Staples” tour has already hit New York and Nashville. Maggie Rogers, Valerie June, Norah Jones, David Byrne, and more joined her in New York. In Nashville she celebrated with Margo Price, Sheryl Crowe, and Elle King among others. The celebration continues in Los Angeles on May 22nd.
In support of the new album, Staples will be heading out on the road with Brandi Carlile. They will play The Mann on Friday, September 6th. Find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to We Get By in its entirety via NPR Music here.
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