Mavis!, the new documentary about award-winning gospel/soul singer Mavis Staples, premieres tonight, February 29, on HBO at 9 p.m. ET. The film takes a look at the acclaimed vocalist’s 60-year career, both with her famous family group, The Staple Singers, and as a solo artist.
The movie, which was directed by Jessica Edwards, partly focuses how the 76-year-old singer continues to spread her message of peace, positivity and spirituality with her music today.
Mavis wasn’t even a teenager when she began performing with The Staple Singers, which was led by her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, and also featured her siblings Yvonne, Cleotha and Purvis. The group began releasing a series of popular gospel records in the 1950s and took part in historic civil-rights protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the ’60s before going on to release pop and soul hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again” in the ’70s.
Mavis started recording as a solo artist while The Staple Singers were still active, and began focusing on her solo career after the 2000 death of her father.
The documentary features interviews with such musical friends and collaborators as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, late Band singer/drummer Levon Helm, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, who produced two of Mavis’ most recent albums — 2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine. The movie also includes live performances and rare archival footage.
In other news, Staples released her latest studio album, Livin’ on a High Note, on February 19. The record was produced by M. Ward of the indie-pop duo She and Him, and features songs written for Mavis by a variety of artists, including Ben Harper, Aloe Blacc, Nick Cave, Neko Case, Tune-Yards and Ward. Staples will begin a series of tour dates in support of Livin’ on a High Note with a concert this Friday, March 4, in Dallas.
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Source: Classic Rock News