Livin' On A High Note
Livin’ On a High Note represents Mavis Staples’ shift into sunny yet autumnal Americana. The soul and gospel legend has lost some of her vocal range, but not her moral authority, which she uses to convince us that life is worth celebrating and delivers with grandmotherly warmth. She collaborates with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy on songs written by a host of luminaries, including M. Ward’s “Don’t Cry,” which is given a sturdy Christian rock rhythm, and Benjamin Booker’s “History, Now,” which has a funky Southern strut. On the final track, M. Ward’s “MLK Song,” Staples sings from the perspective of the late Dr. King, and imagines him satisfied with a life of helping others.