Mavis Staples returns to the UK next week for two shows at London’s Union Chapel on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th July. Mavis, who released Carry Me Home (a collaboration with Levon Helm) last year, is currently on an extensive European tour before heading back to the US to complete a nationwide run of shows. Tickets are available here.
Captured at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, Mavis’ last album Carry Me Home (2022) showcases the music of Mavis Staples and Levon Helm, two of the past century’s most iconic voices who came together in love and joy, tracing their shared roots and celebrating the enduring power of faith and music.
Mavis Staples and Levon Helm’s mutual love and admiration is on full display on Carry Me Home, which features a mix of Staples’ and Helm’s bands operating at the peak of their powers as they work their way through an eclectic setlist of tunes made famous by the likes of Simone, The Impressions, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones.
Neither Staples nor Helm knew that this would be their last performance together—the collection marks one of Helm’s final recordings before his death—and listening back now, a little more than a decade later, tunes like ‘This May Be The Last Time’ and ‘Farther Along’ take on new, bittersweet meaning. The result is an album that’s at once a time capsule and a memorial, a blissful homecoming and a fond farewell, a once-in-a-lifetime concert—and friendship—preserved for the ages.
“It never crossed my mind that it might be the last time we’d see each other”, says Staples. “He was so full of life and so happy that week. He was the same old Levon I’d always known, just a beautiful spirit inside and out.”
Artist’s website: www.mavisstaples.com
‘Farther Along’ – live with Levon Helm: