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In Action: Mavis Staples

"Wherever Mavis Staples goes, her sister Yvonne is not far away," Greg Kot writes for the Tribune. "While Mavis Staples radiates joy and determination, her older sibling looks on with the vigilant concern of a family matriarch.

"It was no different at a packed and boisterous Park West on Saturday, where Mavis Staples headlined her first hometown show since the release of her latest album, the spine-tingling 'You Are Not Alone.' The album finds the 71-year-old Staples still exploring new ground.

"On Saturday, she performed a Randy Newman ballad, 'Losing You,' with shades of nuance and fragility that might've been beyond her a few decades ago. But she was invested in the song to the point where her eyes welled even as she bent notes and made them shiver, the inflections more reminiscent of a jazz ballad rather than a gospel plea. Rick Holmstrom's guitar held her voice close, embroidering every line with silky reverb.

"When it was over, Mavis bowed her head, and Yvonne clapped in affirmation. 'Oh, yes!'"

Here are some highlights of that show, including bonus video of Kelly Hogan and Scott Ligon and Staples and Jeff Tweedy at Lollapalooza last summer.

1. Bringing it all back home.

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2. Either Mavis or the Lord. Or Jeff Tweedy.

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3. With a great big giant nod to Kelly Hogan and Nora O'Connor.

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4. Kelly Hogan opening.

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5. Summer reprise.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on December 1, 2010


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