Mojo (UK)

Mavis Staples: I’ll Take You There – An AllStar Concert Celebratio­n

- Lois Wilson

CAROLINE INTERNATIO­NAL. CD + DVD

Two-hour-long concert film pays tribute to the Chicago singer in her then 75th year.

On November 19, 2014, at Chicago’s Auditorium theatre under musical director Don Was’s instructio­n, a group of Mavis Staples’ musician friends and fans, took the stage in celebratio­n of the gospel, soul and protest singer, who had turned 75 back in July that year. From Joan Osborne’s spirited opening with Mavis’s You’re Driving Me (To The Arms Of A Stranger) – backed by The McCrary Sisters, it’s easy to forget we’re not in church – to the finale when the entire cast (from Aaron Neville to Win Butler) sing The Band’s The Weight, which The Staple Singers covered in 1968, the love in the room is palpable. Inevitably, it is Mavis herself who lifts us highest, her contralto voice still rich, and compelling on renditions of Respect Yourself, You’re Not Alone and I’ll Take You There.

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