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Mavis Staples will be the first act of the night at 5:10 p.m. Friday on the MO Lottery Stage at Peace Park.

Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Mavis Staples to perform at Roots ’N Blues

After Bonaroo and the Newport Folk Festival, Staples makes a stop at Roots ’N Blues.

By Tess Betts | Sept. 9, 2011

Tags: Music Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ 2011

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Mavis Staples is coming to town! Mavis Staples is coming to town!

Mavis and her band will perform Friday on the Roots ’N Blues MO Lottery Stage at Peace Park. After the introductions, Mavis will be starting the evening’s festivities with a 5:10 to 6:30 p.m set. Not only will Staples be bringing her soulful talent, but also her new Grammy-winning album "You Are Not Alone," which is produced and collaborated with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

“I wanted to make an album where every song had meaning,” Staples says. “Where every song told a story and would lift you up and give you a reason to get up in the morning. And I know it’s going to feel really good singing these songs on stage.”

Tweedy and Staples released the album in 2010. It is a combination of sorts with acapella, country, blues, gospel, pop and R&B.

“After the 'We’ll Never Turn Back' CD (released in 2007), I didn’t know which way to turn,” Staples says. “Did I want to do a country record, a gospel record or what? So I needed a sound like this, something that fit my message, but flowed in a different direction from where I would normally take a song so it wasn’t just the same old, same old.”

Staples’ favorite track from the album, “Only the Lord Knows,” sends a political message.

“You talk to this one, listen to that one, pick up the paper, but you can’t get any answers,” Staples says. "The White House, the church — I can’t get any straight answers to the things I want to know. So, for now, we’re on our own, and we have to go to the Lord. He’s the only one who knows.”

Staples isn’t your typical artist. She’s been in the media for 60 years. Her most recent shows have included Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I.

Staples fits into the line-up perfectly. She is a musically diverse legend. Her music isn’t about money, dancing or drugs. Rather, she is an artist that captures the message of “the world today — poverty, jobs, welfare, all of that - and making it feel better through these songs,” she writes on her website.

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