Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Marvellous Mavis Staples!

Last night my husband opened the show for the legendary Mavis Staples at the Tramshed in Cardiff.

Yes, I just wrote that.  I think Chris had to pinch himself when he was on stage.

Christopher Rees @porcelinasworld



Mavis Staples Tramshed @porcelinasworld

Christopher Rees @porcelinasworld

Mavis Staples Tramshed @porcelinasworld

Mavis Staples @porcelinasworld

For those of you who aren't that familiar with Mavis, she starting singing with her family group The Staple Singers when she was just eleven years old.  A gospel based group, they first had hits in the 1950s.  By the 1960s they were the 'sound of the Civil Rights movement', as Mavis's father Pop Staples had developed a close friendship with Martin Luther King.  Signed to Stax records, the group continued to have hits in the 1970s.  Mavis's solo career evolved alongside, and now at the age of 78, she is promoting her album 'Livin' on a High Note', which came out in 2016, and she has just finished recording a new album with Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco).  This quote from her record label, Anti, sums up her outstanding career:

Mavis Staples is an alchemist of American music, and has continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles, weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and even hip hop.  Over the better part of the last 60 years, the iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road unwaveringly.

Chris himself has been influenced by many different genres of music, and so although his latest album is a country record, his set last night was sympathetic to Mavis's cross-genre sensibilities and included songs with a gospel/spiritual feel mixed in with soul, Americana and blues.  I was very proud when Chris was on stage, it's amazing how much volume just one man and his guitar can make.  Chris got to meet Mavis before she went on, and she made a lovely comment about the strength of his voice, and how he sounded like 'three people'!  Mavis herself was of course awe-inspiring, with the most incredible energy.  The love in the room was so tangible.

Christopher Rees @porcelinasworld
A sign with your name on is a mark of success!

Mavis Staples Tramshed @porcelinasworld
My 'access all areas' pass - one to keep!

Mavis Staples Christopher Rees @porcelinasworld
Chris introducing Mavis to a Welsh 'cwtch'

For Mavis's upcoming tour dates see her website here - there are a few European dates, a couple more in the UK (one in Bristol next week) and then she returns to the USA and Canada.  I can't recommend the show enough.  It's an incredibly warm and uplifting experience, and I hope Mavis continues to spread her message of joy and love for many more years.

A big thank you to everyone who commented on my post about Chris's new album, and an extra thank you to all of you who gave his music a listen.

13 comments:

  1. You must have been so proud seeing Chris on stage. What an honour to be Mavis Staples's support act. Must have been quite an experience! xxx

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    1. Yes, I was beaming with pride!! He went down really well, phew!!

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  2. Oh wow, how amazing no wonder you are proud!

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    1. Thanks lovely, definitely one to treasure!

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  3. Aw, so amazing, well done Chris! I have to admit I'm a music cretin and I'm going to have to look some of Mavis's songs up... but I think that's very much my lack of music education ;) xx (PS hope you've had time to check that sale out through all this excitement!!)

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    1. I only found out about Mavis some years ago through Chris - one of those people where you probably know loads of songs but didn't quite know who'd done them?

      I did check out the sale but I was full of willpower and didn't buy anything!! xx

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  4. Wow, that's brilliant! Getting to play alongside such a legend must be a dream come true for him. Here's to many more great gigs!

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    1. Thanks Mim! I've told Chris to pick his next hero and we'll try and make it happen!! x

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  5. Those are great photos, you've got a great eye for a cool shot!
    I'm thrilled for Chris getting to play alongside one of his idols. Mavis is utterly fantastic. xxx

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    1. Thanks Vix, my camera's not the best in low light but I was pleased to come away with a few ok ones! Mavis was awesome - you could honestly feel the love in the room! xx

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  6. Congratulations to him! I don't know that much about her, but I do know that she's a big act. You can really see how thrilled he is to be playing the same stage as her.

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  7. So incredibly awesome! He must've been buzzing the whole night. Brilliant photos and what an amazing memory to treasure. xx

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  8. How wonderful! He must have been pinching himself! Must say, I absolutely LOVE Chris's guitar, it's a beauty! xxx

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