Mavis Staples Sets New Album With An Eclectic Set of Songwriters; HBO to Air New Documentary

Mavis Staples has set February 19 for the release of her new solo album, Livin' on a High Note (Anti Records).

For the new album, Staples has had twelve new songs, written specifically for her, by some of today's most eclectic songwriters including Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Banjamin Booker, Neko Case, Valerie June, The Head & the Heart, Tune-Yards, Aloe Blacc and more.

Produced by M. Ward (She and Him, Monsters of Folk), Staples said of the album:
I've been singing my freedom songs and I wanted to stretch out and sing some songs that were new. I told the writers I was looking for some joyful songs. I want to leave something to lift people up; I'm so busy making people cry, not from sadness, but I'm always telling a part of history that brought us down and I'm trying to bring us back up. These songwriters gave me a challenge. They gave me that feeling of, 'Hey, I can hang! I can still do this!' There's a variety, and it makes me feel refreshed and brand new. Just like Benjamin Booker wrote on the opening track, 'I got friends and I got love around me, I got people, the people who love me.' I'm living on a high note, I'm above the clouds. I'm just so grateful. I must be the happiest old girl in the world. Yes, indeed.
From the album, this is Valerie June's High Note:

The track list and songwriters:
  • Take Us Back (Benjamin Booker)
  • Love And Trust (Ben Harper)
  • If It's A Light (The Head & The Heart)
  • Action (Tune-Yards)
  • High Note (Valerie June)
  • Don't Cry (M Ward)
  • Tomorrow (Aloe Blacc / John Batiste)
  • Dedicated (Justin Vernon/M Ward)
  • History Now (Neko Case)
  • One Love (Son Little)
  • Jesus Lay Down Beside Me (Nick Cave)
  • MLK Song (M Ward / Martin Luther King)
Then, the next night (February 20), HBO will have the broadcast premier of the new documentary Mavis!

Originally premiered at last year's SXSW Festival, the film tells the story of Staples from her time with her family in the Staples Singers through her civil rights work up to her resurgence as a solo artist.

Finally, Mavis will be on the road promoting the new album starting at the end of January and including two weekends playing at the Coachella Festival.
  • 01/29 - Rutland, VT - Paramount Theatre
  • 01/30 - Corning, NY - Corning Museum of Glass
  • 02/05 - North Little Rock, AR - Center for the Humanities and Arts
  • 03/04 - Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater
  • 03/05 - Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater
  • 03/08 - San Antonio, TX - Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
  • 03/10 - Omaha, NE - Holland Performing Arts Center
  • 03/12 - Fayetteville, AR - Walton Arts Center
  • 03/13 - Kansas City, MO - Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
  • 04/08 - Reading, PA - Berks Jazz Fest
  • 04/15 - Indio, CA - Coachella
  • 04/22 - Indio, CA - Coachella
  • 05/06 - West Palm Beach, FL - Kravis Center
  • 05/08 - Birmingham, AL - Lyric Theatre

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