Soul music legend Mavis Staples is releasing a new album. On February 19, Staples will release Livin’ on a High Note, via Anti- Records. It was produced by M. Ward, and features songs written specifically for Staples by a number of artists, including Ward, Neko Case, Nick Cave, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus, among others.
In a press release, Staples said this about the album:
I’ve been singing my freedom songs and I wanted to stretch out and sing some songs that were new. I told the writers I was looking for some joyful songs. I want to leave something to lift people up; I’m so busy making people cry, not from sadness, but I’m always telling a part of history that brought us down and I’m trying to bring us back up. These songwriters gave me a challenge. They gave me that feeling of, ‘Hey, I can hang! I can still do this!’ There’s a variety, and it makes me feel refreshed and brand new. Just like Benjamin Booker wrote on the opening track, ‘I got friends and I got love around me, I got people, the people who love me.’ I’m living on a high note, I’m above the clouds. I’m just so grateful. I must be the happiest old girl in the world. Yes, indeed.
Listen to the Valerie June penned “High Note” below, and check out the tracklist.
Mavis Staples Livin’ on a High Note tracklist:
1 Take Us Back (Benjamin Booker)
2 Love and Trust (Ben Harper)
3 If It’s a Light (The Head & the Heart)
4 Action (tUnE-yArds)
5 High Note (Valerie June)
6 Don’t Cry (M. Ward)
7 Tomorrow (Aloe Blacc/John Batiste)
8 Dedicated (Justin Vernon/M.Ward)
9 History Now (Neko Case)
10 One Love (Son Little)
11 Jesus Lay Down Beside Me (Nick Cave)
12 MLK Song (M. Ward / Martin Luther King)
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.