ONE TRUE VINE
The second collaboration between soul great Mavis Staples and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, like the first, owes as much to Tweedy’s deft guidance and production skills as it does to Staples’ power-punch vocals.
He manages to plug into the emotional centre of a singer bought up on gospel, who became a powerful voice for the US civil rights movement.
His own Every Step of the Way is a perfectly stripped back example of how to create a dynamic where Staples’ can give rein to one of the touchstones of her life – her faith in a higher power.
Likewise another of Tweedy’s songs, the title track, has a laidback acoustic guitar arrangement and bursts of piano that lead, and then give way to an eyes-wired shut Staples vocal that draws from a well that few artists can drink from.