Mavis Staples is one of the all-time great soul singers, having performed solo, with the Staple Singers, and with countless others, including Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, and Aretha Franklin. She’s coming out with a new solo album, called Livin’ on a High Note, which is filled with songs written specifically for Staples by other artists. Today, she’s shared two of those songs, via The Fader.
The first, called “Jesus Lay Down Beside Me,” was written by Nick Cave and is about as down-tempo and grim as Staples gets.
The second track, called “Action,” was written by tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus, and it certainly does sound like Mavis Staples singing a tUnE-yArDs song, for better or worse. (It’s for the best, actually.)
Previously, Staples released “Dedication,” which was co-written by the album’s producer, M. Ward, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
Livin’ on a High Note will be released via ANTI- on February 19. See the full tracklist below.
1. “Take Us Back” (Benjamin Booker)
2. “Love and Trust” (Ben Harper)
3. “If It’s a Light” (The Head & the Heart)
4. “Action” (tUnE-yArds)
5. “High Note” (Valerie June)
6. “Don’t Cry” (M. Ward)
7. “Tomorrow” (Aloe Blacc/John Batiste)
8. “Dedicated” (Justin Vernon/M.Ward)
9. “History Now” (Neko Case)
10. “One Love” (Son Little)
11. “Jesus Lay Down Beside Me” (Nick Cave)
12. MLK Song (M. Ward / Martin Luther King)