Prior to speaking to Mavis Staples last week, I hadn't realized how revolutionary and tied to the Movement for Peace and Justice, Papa Staples and the Staple Singers, Miss Mavis, the youngest, were. She shared stories of her father's meeting with Dr. MLK Jr. and songs he wrote for the young leader and minister during that turbulent time in America as he and his children (the Staple Singers) were arrested and mistreated along with everyone else. Their resistance to injustice continued through the Vietnam War and this legacy is seen in benefit performances and compilations Ms. Staples has participated in as a solo artist for the past 30-40 years. She spoke of visiting her grandmother in Mississippi where people's hand clapping and foot stomping made the floor boards sing in the hills where they had church. Her latest recording, taped live in Chicago last June, but released the day of Obama's victory, November 4, 2008, "Mavis Staples Live: Hope at the Hideout" (ANTI-/Epitaph). Ms. Staples said the CD marks the end of a musical period for her, thought the songs of the Movement and those reflective of the struggles of black people for human rights would never grow old, she was ready to sing happy songs. Well hot dog! is all I can say. It's a short but lively conversation and you can see Miss Staples in concert this weekend, Sunday, June 28, 2009, at The Kate Wolf Memorial Festival in Laytonville, CA. Visit http://www.katewolf.com/festival/ The line-up is impressive: Friday Main Stage * Joel Rafael * Rosalie Sorrels & Ramblin' Jack Elliott * Chris Smither * Ruthie Foster Band * Blind Boys of Alabama Saturday Main Stage * Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack * Sherry Austin Band (with a Kate Wolf song set) * Riders in the Sky * Shawn Colvin * Railroad Earth * Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women * Patty Griffin Sunday Main Stage * Po' Girl * Girlyman *
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