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Published: 2013/07/16
by Wesley Hodges

Mavis Staples
One True Vine


From the opening notes of One True Vine’s gripping gospel tune “Holy Ghost,” the legendary Mavis Staples’ passion for transcendence comes across as an unwavering creed. For the second album in a row, Staples hired Jeff Tweedy as her producer and their collaboration continues to flourish. “Every Step” is accentuated by a familial backing groove that steadily simmers beneath Staples’ energetically delivered statement: “My Lord, he knows me every step of the way.” On a gorgeously arranged rendering of Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That,” a heart-grabbing acoustic groove accents this major album standout, which further showcases Staples’ longstanding and deep appreciation for protest music. The Nick Lowe-penned “Far Celestial Shores” is an adroit composition with a timeless lyrical quality and a must-hear from the collection. “I Like the Things About Me,” co-written by Pops Staples, has a stylistic quality befitting of Wilco’s adventurous canon, driven by an unrefined rock progression that directs the self-acceptance anthem. In her seventh decade as an artist, Staples doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, and this pairing of artist and producer once again uplifts and delivers.

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