Soul/gospel legend Mavis Staples is set to release Your Good Fortune, a new four-song EP produced by the acclaimed young cross-genre soul explorer Son Little. The record will arrive in stores on April 21st. The EP coincides with the recent premiere of a full-length documentary on the singer entitled “Mavis!”
The songs on Your Good Fortune inventively merge Staples’ iconic and soulful voice, renowned as part of The Staple Singers and as a Grammy winning solo artist, with Little’s talent for reconfiguring the sensibilities of genres including soul, hip-hop and heavy rock. The resulting tracks retain every bit of Staples’ emotional delivery, while adding an array of modernist sounds created with the cut and paste methodology of contemporary hip-hop.
One True Vine is a dark night of the soul, a journey from a search for faith to glorious belief. Starting with Alan Sparhawk from Low’s downtempo “One Holy Ghost” – a song that feels the presence of God without fully comprehending it – and moving through the Jeff Tweedy original “Jesus Wept,” a questioning of the darkness in the world, the album begins in the depths. Even the perfectly chosen Funkadelic classic “Can You Get to That?,” a high-flying respite in an otherwise subdued first half, is built around a question of the spirit. Then at mid-point, Nick Lowe’s “Far Celestial Shores” picks up the pace, and the album opens up like a parting of the clouds. The tempo kicks in with a tent-revival throb, and even when things slow for a moment with the greasy funk reworking of the Staple’s “I Like the Things About Me,” it’s a second half of light and redemption. Closing with the beautiful ballad “One True Vine” (the third of the Tweedy originals), the album ends on a note of salvation, with Mavis cradling the lyric like a prodigal son.