Although she turns 80 years old this July, the legendary vocalist Mavis Staples shows no sign of slowing down.
Today she is thrilled to release her 12th studio album, We Get By, which features songs written and produced by multi-Grammy award-winner Ben Harper; watch the album’s trailer HERE.
“When I first started reading the lyrics Ben wrote for me, I said to myself, ‘My God, he’s saying everything that needs to be said right now,’” Staples remembers. “But the songs were also true to my journey and the stories I’ve been singing all my life. There’s a spirituality and an honesty to Ben’s writing that took me back to church.”
Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Staples is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a GRAMMY Award-winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. Listen to We Get By’s lead single “Change” HERE.
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 of a higher power.”
“I come from a family of Mavis fans,” explains Harper, “so her music has been woven into the fabric of my life from the very start. When I got the call for this gig, it felt like my entire career, everything I’d ever written, had been pre-production for this.”
Mavis recently held three immensely celebratory 80th birthday shows this month at New York City’s Apollo Theater, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and LA’s Theatre at the Ace Hotel. “Couples embraced and held hands as if caught up in the warmth and spirit of a singer who never failed to hug her many guest performers,” the Associated Press said of the Apollo show.
Called ‘Mavis & Friends: Celebrating 80 Years of Mavis Staples’, the trio of shows featured Mavis and new special guests each night including David Byrne, Wynonna, Jason Isbell, Marty Stuart, Phoebe Bridgers, Benjamin Booker and more. Presented by the Newport Folk Festival, proceeds from the Mavis & Friends shows went directly towards extending the Newport Folk Festival Foundation’s support of music education programs. This summer Mavis will continue to perform throughout the US and Europe including many headlining shows and festival sets at Glastonbury, Pitchfork and Outside Lands and more. All upcoming tour dates are listed below.
5/31 – Ogden, UT – Ogden Music Festival
6/9 – Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Music Festival 2019
6/23 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia Theatre
6/25 – Norrmalm, Sweden – Nalen
6/26 – 6/30 – Worthy Farm, UK – Glastonbury Festival 2019
6/27 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Theater Carré
6/28 – Antwerpen, Belgium – Open-Air Theatre
7/2 – Bath, UK – The Forum
7/4 – London, UK – Roundhouse
7/5 – Paris, France – La Cigale
7/6 – Lyon, France – Theatres Romaines De Fourviere
7/16 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks w/ Norah Jones
7/17 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
7/19 – Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
7/20 – Lincoln, NE - ZooFest
7/31 – Cape May, NJ – Cape May Convention Hall
8/1 – Vienna, VA – Filene Center at Wolf Trap w/ Lyle Lovett
8/3 – Lagrange, GA – Sweetland Amphitheatre at Boyd Park
8/10 – Lexington, KY – Railbird Festival
8/11 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands Festival
9/6 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for the Performing Arts w/ Brandi Carlile
9/14 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden w/ Brandi Carlile
9/21 – North Adams, MA – FreshGrass Festival
9/22 – East Aurora, NY – Borderland Festival
10/5 – Florence, AL – Shoals Fest