Mavis Staples – One True Vine album review

What more can be said about Mavis Staples? She has pretty much lived the American experience down to the finer details. She was close with Martin Luther King, Jr., she’s rocked the stage with the likes of Bob Dylan, Booker T. and the MGs, and Ray Charles, and hip hop artists of every style and background sample her voice to no end. Ms. Mavis is without a doubt a staple of American music (excuse the dreadful pun…).

This time around, with the One True Vine–in the futuristic age of the 2010s far from the Civil Rights Movement and Bob Dylan’s dominance of the late ’60s–Staples does not fall short. Her contemporary ten-track album is an instant classic. Her voice stills soothes and cures most mental maladies. Her sound is original and unyielding, reminding a listener of the historically rich tradition of Americana. Needless to say, it is incredibly refreshing that despite all the musical evolution and sonic revolutions that have accumulated our modern era there are still artists like Staples holding the torch for to light their own way–the way they have pursued since the beginning. Much has happened since your first self-titled issue in 1969, Ms. Staples, but no one has forgotten your name.

For a quick taste of the quality of One True Vine, look no further than the last and title track, “One True Vine.” Smooth and emotional, Staples delivers her thanks to an exasperated love. Her voice is as clean as ever, although you may not have thought it possible. For a little more energy and a little less sentimentality, tune into “Far Celestial Shore.” It is this track where classic Staples gospel makes its lasting imprint. A guitar rhythm lays down miles of track to ground the ever-proceeding faith of Mavis Staples. She is neither obtrusive or pushy with her religiosity. She is simply passionate. For a great piece of classic Rhythm and Blues, blare the low register track “Can You Get to That.” Regardless of what you are seeking for, however, One True Vine should be approachable for any conscientious music lover. One must tip their hat to such a force as Mavis Staples whether or not one cherishes her style.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top