Sunday, July 08, 2007


We'll Never Turn Back

I guess I'm quite lucky as I can recognise what is good in most forms of music even actually appreciating some of it. despite my personal preferences I respect much traditional music and have long been a blues fan and of it's younger brother, rhythm 'n' blues. I've had the good luck to have seen some of the leading lights of these musical forms live: BB King, Buddy Guy, Dr John but the performer that left the strongest impression was Pops Staples who I saw at a Blues Festival in the early nineties when he was touring his first solo album 'Peace To The Neighborhood' released when he was in his seventies . He had not be non productive until then, far from it, he was the mentor behind the Staple Singer, one of the bands that were the foundation of Stax Records, if you don't know their take on the bands 'The Weight' where they made the song their own and to my mind recorded the definitive version, well stop what you're doing and go and buy it right now! The Staples singers as the name suggests were part of that long American tradition of family members singing together: The Carter Family, The Osmonds, The Partridge Family, The Jackson Five, Pops provided the musical backing for his four daughters. As is often the case there is one of the bunch that is just that little bit stronger and goes on to forge a respectable solo career, in the case of the Staple Singers this was to be Mavis. She has recently released her 9th solo album on as many different labels 'We'll Never Turn Back', this latest outing has seen the light of day on one of the coolest labels I Know of, Anti. Anti are the philanthropic side of US punk/skate label Epitaph whose rooster includes such delights as Tricky, Bettye Lavette, Michael Franti and Tom Waits. The album sees Mavis backed by one of the few guitarists capable of replacing her father Ry Cooder and one of America's greatest living drummers/percussionists Jim Keltenr. The results are more than satisfactory as Mavis goes back to her gospel roots and delivers 12 songs of strife and struggle that sadly seem as relevant today as they did back in the 20's or 30's, her gritty soul divas voice more than does justice to these songs and the sentiments that they convey. Not a duff song amongst the 12 tracks my current favorites are the funky sounding '99 And A Half' and the stomping 'This Little Light Of Mine'. An album that goes along way in proving that the devil does not have all the beat tunes!

just found a good website devoted to
Well Never Turn Back album:

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