(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Mavis Staples, whose musical career has spanned over a half century spanning gospel, spirituals, R&B, rock, pop, folk, country, protest, Americana and indie rock, and who was a longtime member of her legendary family ensemble, the Staples Singers, performs at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday, January 22 at 7 pm. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient most recently recorded You Are Not Alone, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, one of many collaborations Staples has performed with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Band, John Scofield, Ry Cooder, Ray Charles, George Jones, Los Lobos and Dr. John.
VH1 named Mavis Staples one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, and Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Her Jeff Tweedy-produced album mixes traditional gospel numbers with two new songs written for her by Tweedy plus unique interpretations of songs by Pops Staples, Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, John Fogerty, Rev. Gary Davis, and Little Milton.
Mavis Staples came of musical age as a member of her parents’ group, the Staples Singers, which became in many ways the voice of the Civil Rights movement, prompted by her father Roebuck “Pops” Staples’s friendship with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. During the 1960s, the Staples Singers covered contemporary songs with political messages, including Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and Stephen Stills’s “For What It’s Worth.”
Legend has it that Bob Dylan asked Pops Staples for Mavis’s hand in marriage, and Pops told the young Dylan to take a hike.
Tickets are $40 to $70.