Mavis Staples with Anderson East
August 3, 2019
8:00 PM; Gates open at 7:00PM
At the beginning of her eighth decade of singing truth, Mavis Staples has delivered If All I Was Was Black (ANTI- Records), ten songs about America today, where the present is filled with ghosts of the past. “Nothing has changed,” Mavis said in early August, just days before the world watched neo-Nazis march with swastika flags in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a young woman was murdered. “We are still in it.”
If All I Was Was Black represents Mavis’ third collaboration with songwriter and producer (and Wilco frontman) Jeff Tweedy. Their first partnership in 2010, You Are Not Alone, won a Grammy Award for Best Americana album. Their second effort together, One True Vine, was a Grammy nominee. But If All I Was Was Black marks the first time Tweedy has composed an entire album of original songs for Mavis’ legendary voice and a nation she’s uniquely poised to address.
In the wake of the race-baiting and rhetoric of exclusion appearing not just on the streets in 2017 but issuing from statehouses and even the White House, Mavis and Tweedy found themselves in sync and wanting to say something about the fissures dividing the country. “We’re not loving one another the way we should,” Mavis confided, as if sharing the secret to happiness, or something better. “Some people are saying they want to make the world great again, but we never lost our greatness. We just strayed into division.”
Anderson East recently released his new album, Encore. Produced by Grammy winner, Dave Cobb, the album debuted #1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart. Encore hit the charts as #5 on the Top Rock Albums, #10 Top Current Albums Chart, and has become a #1 on the iTunes Singer/ Songwriter Chart. Anderson East has also been nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 American Awards.