Tone Deaf Records

New - Staples, Mavis - Live In London - 2xLP

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Recorded at London's Union Chapel (which Mavis Staples calls "the best place in the world to sing") and produced by the singer herself, Live in London reveals that Mavis retains astonishing power after seventy years as a performer, and that while her repertoire continues to expand, her philosophy is unchanged since her days in the groundbreaking family group, the Staple Singers.

For this project, Staples – who is still on the road almost 200 nights a year – welcomed the spontaneity and vulnerability of recording live. The album captures the spirit and energy, the commitment and intensity, that she brings to the stage every night. "I don't think about it being recorded, I'm just singing for the people and expressing my feeling through the songs," she says. "I don't try to do anything perfect for the record, I just sing from my heart. Pops taught me that years ago – what comes from the heart reaches the heart."

Ironically, her last live record – 2008's Hope at the Hideout – was cut against the background of her fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama's historic election, while the new album inevitably addresses the horrors of the Donald Trump era. The focus of this collection is material she has recorded since signing with ANTI- Records in 2007. Mixed in with these newer songs (and "Let's Do It Again," which she notes is "the only secular song that the Staple Singers ever recorded") are a few selections chosen just to bring the funk – Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That" and "Slippery People" by Talking Heads.