I first heard about Mavis Staples last week on a re-run of Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me. She had this wonderful throaty voice, and I could tell right off she was a wonderful singer. Part of being on that show is talking a little about yourself and she had amazing stories. Usually the panel talks as much as the guest, joking and laughing, but with Mavis they were silent until she quit, and then most of them just said exactly what I did; “Huh”. Because it was enthralling, and educational, and fun; not to be played with, laughed at, etc.
Mavis started singing with her family in the 1950’s, when her Dad “Pops” Staples started taking them to churches to sing. She sang bass at the age of 8. People used to bet it wasn’t really her.
Have A Little Faith is an unabashed Gospel album, in which she sings about her faith, her love of God, and her thankfulness to Him for letting her live this wonderful life. The music is very blues-y with a dash of jazz. That great voice makes it a really wonderful album that I love for the same reason I love B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. There’s soul in it. Not the kind that marketing weenies call “soul music”, but real soul.
I highly recommend it, give it a try.