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MailTribune.com
  • Mavis Staples' 'One True Vine'

  • At 73, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples remains an unrivaled vocalist who sounds able to blow a building down by simply exhaling. What's nice about "One True Vine," the second Staples solo album produced by fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy, is that it resists the temptation to put all that industrial-strength power to nonessential use.
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  • At 73, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples remains an unrivaled vocalist who sounds able to blow a building down by simply exhaling. What's nice about "One True Vine," the second Staples solo album produced by fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy, is that it resists the temptation to put all that industrial-strength power to nonessential use.
    Instead, the 10-track set, which includes three songs by Tweedy, as well as songs by Low, Nick Lowe and George Clinton, takes a deeply relaxed, richly comforting approach in which the singer says as much with a whisper as a shout.
    Her soulful take on Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That" and gorgeously restrained version of Low's "Holy Ghost" are especially inspired. However, Staples is at her best on "One True Vine" when she gets a hold of stripped-down gospel songs such as "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today" and the acoustic blues spiritual "Sow Good Seeds."
    "I reached the point in time where I want to be real," the gospel great sings, sounding utterly at ease on "I Like the Things About Me," a song co-written decades ago by her father Roebuck "Pops" Staples.
    Staples will open for John Hiatt & The Combo at 7 p.m. Friday, July 5, at the Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville.
    See www.brittfest.org or call 541-773-6077 for tickets and information.
    — Wire reports
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