Mavis Staples :: One True Vine

In her sixty-plus years as a gospel and soul singer, Mavis Staples has rarely been lacking in buoyant confidence. She has the physical muster to stretch her voice from exasperated whisper to jubilant shout in the span of a single bar, but her songs rise on the effervescence of the little counter-sung grunts that she tosses in on the way (“ah-HUH!”); her body of work is, almost without exception, in a constant state of exaltation, completely focused on God, on others, and on positive social change with a singularity of vision and loosely worn sincerity that . . .

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