Mavis Staples. Lincoln Center. White Light Festival. Review by Julia Pascal.
Mavis Staples is an icon of the civil rights movement and her music is born of the gospel movement. Her voice is raspy. Her presence is gutsy.
Supported by her sister Yvonne and a strong group, in particular Rick Holmstrom on lead guitar, she is a self-mocking, magnetic performer who, despite her age, proclaims, ‘I am still here’. The music is funky and complements the Dylan, Baez canon. At her age it is clear we are paying homage to her longevity as a soul and gospel legend and civil rights champion. ‘I have been performing for 64 years’ she tells us and the audience is on its feet to honour that past. This is a celebration of survival and a still-burning talent that lights up her adoring audience.
Julia Pascal © November 2014.