Friday, November 15, 2013


I expected last night's performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall featuring Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys Of Alabama to be inspiring, at the very least. I've seen both Mavis and the Blind Boys a number of times and have never been disappointed. I did not expect Mavis Staples, hobbling after right knee surgery on her way to left knee surgery, to completely tear down the house.

Credit must be given to her band, a trio featuring the otherworldly Rick Holmstrom on guitar, Jeff Thomas on bass, and Stephen Hodges on drums, a trio that sounded like an orchestra, as well as vocal help from Vick Randle, Donny Gerrard and sister Yvonne Staples.

Mavis Staples has the energy of Iggy Pop, and while a good 15 minutes of the 75 minute set was taken up by the singer's legendary motor mouth...her sister Yvonne thinks she talks too much...the set could not have been better. Mavis can still belt them out.

This inspired me, so I pulled this gem from the shelves. It's a common live show, but a classic live show and on the off chance you don't have it, here it is.

The two bonus tracks feature Mavis Staples with Wilco recorded in Chicago on 12/12/11, with special guest Nick Lowe on "The Weight."

I took photos last night, but they all look like ectoplasm. So the picture above was one I took in the Gospel Tent in New Orleans, 2009.

Enjoy, I hope.


Staple Singers, WPLJ Broadcast- 6/26/72

Heavy Makes You Happy
For What It's Worth
You've Got To Earn It
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
God Bless The Children
Respect Yourself
I Like The Things About Me
I'll Take You There
He's Alright


Wilco-Civic Opera House, 12/12/11

You Are Not Alone
The Weight



Anonymous said...

Thank you!
...and a great and impressive picture of Mavis.
Well done!

A walk in the woods said...

Looks great, Sal. I've only gotten to see Mavis live once and hope I get to see her again.

Eric said...

yeah..those wplj concerts always rolled

ReelMusic said...

Don't you just love that venue, too? Wish I'd known you were going...would have liked to have met you. Great mix, btw....thanks, as always, for posting.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I was in a bar in the East Village(the one at the corner of 2nd and A) when a badass cover of "For What It's Worth" came on. I asked the bartender who it was.
"The Staple Singers," he replied, and the very next day I went out and scored the lp at Tower.

Here it is:

iggy said...

What a terrific weekend treat! Thank you so much, Sal. All the best,