Gospel and soul legend Mavis Staples is worth the trip to Mount Dora


  • Photo by Myriam Santos
Though Orlando Weekly generally accepts the maxim that the devil has all the best tunes, damn if we weren’t just listening to the Staples Singers’ The 25th Day of December album and thinking how fortunate the world is that Mavis Staples is still alive and performing. This weekend, the gospel and soul titan that is Ms. Staples is swinging through Orlando – though she’s making us work for it with that Mount Dora venue – with the Charlie Musselwhite Band in tow. It’s impossible to understate Staples’ importance to American music and culture; her solo work and the Staples Singers’ albums are untouchable, winning most every musical honor imaginable. Beyond that, she is a Civil Rights legend, and she’s performed for both John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. If you’re in the mood for pregaming with some Staples recordings, there’s plenty of new work and reissues to go around. Staples’ newest album, We Get By, is a powerhouse affair produced by Ben Harper, and if you want to try something a little more eclectic, try her 2016 duets album Livin’ on a High Note, full of unexpected collaborations with the likes of Nick Cave and Tune-Yards. If you’re in the mood for a historical deep dive, on Dec. 6 the Craft label will unleash a seven-LP compendium of the Staples Singers’ output on Stax. It’s gonna get emotional.

with the Charlie Musselwhite Band | 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 | Mount Dora Plaza Live, 2728 W. Old Highway 44, Mount Dora | 352-234-3755 | mountdoraplazalive.com | $50

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