R&B and gospel goddess Mavis Staples
has a new album coming out. It's called If All I Was Was Black
, and it was made with the help of none other than Wilco
singer and guitarist Jeff Tweedy. Today, Staples dropped the track "Ain't No Doubt About It", which features Tweedy on backup vocals. It's a sweet, slow country song about friendship and the importance of stable relationships. It's a calming breath of fresh air if, like me, you've been living on an acoustic diet of jumpy pop hits and terrible news for the last four weeks.
Tweedy wrote the songs on the upcoming album, and Staples performs them. The two are attempting to create an album that is intentionally political--but, given this latest single and the others released before it, also meditative and optimistic. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, another standout, recently released track is "Build a Bridge", which tackles contemporary race relations in the U.S.
Though both are Americana hotshots, Tweedy and Staples seem like their generational differences would put them in different worlds. According to a Village Voice article
from 2014, their friendship bloomed thanks to Tweedy's admiration of Staples. As a huge fan, Tweedy had tried (unsuccessfully) to meet and perform with her at a concert in Chicago before he set up a lunch date to talk with her about collaboration. They've since worked on two albums together: You Are Not Alone
and One True Vine
. The former won a Grammy for Best Americana Album of 2010.