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Mavis Staples announces Jeff Tweedy-written and produced album, If All I Was Was Black, shares title track: Stream

Legendary soul singer and Wilco frontman reunite for their politically fraught third collaborative effort

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    Photo by Philip Cosores

    Mavis Staples has been successfully collaborating with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy since 2010. That’s the year Staples released You Are Not Alone, her Grammy-winning Americana album which Tweedy produced. 2013 saw the duo join forces again for the Grammy-nominated One True Vine. Now, 2017 will find Staples delivering her third work with Tweedy, as she’s just announced a new album called If All I Was Was Black.

    Set for a November 17th release via Anti-, the record was produced and written by Tweedy, with Staples co-writing on three songs. It marks the first time Tweedy’s composed an entire album of original material with the legendary soul singer. The effort’s 10 tracks take clear aim at the racially and politically divided present while embracing love as a counterbalance. “We’re not loving one another the way we should,” Mavis said in a statement. “Some people are saying they want to make the world great again, but we never lost our greatness. We just strayed into division.”

    As for Tweedy, addressing the current state of politics and culture with Staples seemed a natural response to the trauma. “I’ve always thought of art as a political statement in and of itself — that it was enough to be on the side of creation and not destruction,” he said. “But there is something that feels complicit at this moment in time about not facing what is happening in this country head on.”

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    The lead single and title track is a gently rolling blend of Americana and R&B, full of swaying guitars and grooving rhythms. Staples sings of being value that’s more than skin deep: “All the love I give/ Got natural gifts/ I’ve got perspective/ Might make yours shift/ I got love.” Take a listen below (via NPR).

    If All I Was Was Black Artwork:

    unnamed 5 Mavis Staples announces Jeff Tweedy written and produced album, If All I Was Was Black, shares title track: Stream

    If All I Was Was Black Tracklist:
    01. Little Bit
    02. If All I Was Was Black
    03. Who Told You That
    04. Ain’t No Doubt About It (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
    05. Peaceful Dream
    06. No Time For Crying
    07. Build A Bridge
    08. We Go High
    09. Try Harder
    10. All Over Again

    Staples also has an upcoming second leg of US tour dates with her former flame, Bob Dylan. Check those out below.

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    Mavis Staples 2017 Tour Dates:
    10/17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Eccles Theater *
    10/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Eccles Theater *
    10/21 – Denver, CO @ 1st Bank Center *
    10/23 – Omaha, NE @ Century Link Center *
    10/24 – Ames, IA @ Stephens Auditorium *
    10/25 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center *
    10/27 – Chicago, IL @ Wintrust Arena *
    10/28 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena *
    10/29 – Bloomington, IN @ IU Auditorium *
    11/01 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater *
    11/03 – Akron, OH @ EJ Thomas Hall *
    11/05 – Columbus, OH @ Palace Theater *
    11/06 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Peterson Events Center *
    11/08 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum *
    11/10 – Richmond, VA @ Coliseum *
    11/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theatre *
    11/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theatre *
    11/14 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem *
    11/16 – Boston, MA @ Agannis Arena *

    * = w/ Bob Dylan

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