Mavis Staples has been at this music thing for a long, long time. Nearly 65 years, actually. When she was still a child, she began singing with her family’s gospel, soul and R&B group, The Staple Singers. Comprised of her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, and older siblings Cleotha, Pervis and Yvonne, the band had numerous charted hits, including two #1 songs: “I’ll Take You There”(1972) and “Let’s Do It Again” (1975).
Since 1969, Mavis, a powerful vocalist with a diverse musical palette that spans soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, rock and blues, has released 14 solo albums. She’s collaborated with acts such as The Band, Prince, Ry Cooder and, most recently, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who produced her last two albums, including last year’s “One True Vine.”
Now 75 years old, she’s still touring in support of her music. I had the opportunity to see her in 2012 when she toured with Bonnie Raitt and made an incredible appearance at the BoA Pavilion in Boston. She remains an expressive vocalist who brings a sense of history to her music while remaining relevant to today’s world.
Lucky for Boston, Mavis Staples will be making a stop at John Hancock Hall on November 8th, and as of this writing, there are still good seats available. You won’t want to miss the opening act, Amy Helm, the daughter of none other than the late Levon Helm from The Band.
On November 19th in Chicago, Mavis Staples will be celebrated by an incredible roster of artists including Bonnie Raitt, Otis Clay, Gregg Allman, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Keb’ Mo’, Aaron Neville, Joan Osborne, Widespread Panic, Grace Potter, Jeff Tweedy and Marty Stuart. The show, “I’ll Take You There: Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples,” will be filmed and recorded for multi-platform distribution.
Don’t miss your chance to see Mavis Staples in Boston!
Mavis Staples, Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm
John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116
Tickets: www.mavisstaples.com or call (617) 531-1257
The Information perform on Fox 25 Boston in 2005 “A Simple Plan”
The 9th and final night of the Rock and Roll Rumble is on Friday night at TT the Bears. 2 finalists + 1 wildcard will “battle” it out for the coveted Rumble crown. In addition there will be a special performance by The Information, who participated in 2003’s Rumble. This 35th year of the Rock and Roll Rumble has seen many great bands bring their best to perform night after night. Friday night is sure to sell out, so get your tickets early so you’re not listening from the sidewalk.
Read more for the bands playing the Finals:
Await Rescue wins 2014 Rock and Roll Rumble Night 5 (video credit: Sooz TV)
The Preliminary rounds of the Rock ‘N ‘ Roll Rumble have (finally) wrapped, and this week the action moves to the Semi-finals. Six bands who won their nights plus 2 wildcards will battle again for the two slots available in the Finals. Thursday and Friday nights, the Rumble continues at TT the Bear’s in Central Square, Cambridge.
Gondoliers, “Slaves” (Midriff Records) play Night 4
Welcome to Thursday, and night 4 of the Rock and Roll Rumble. After a night off, the Preliminary round continues with 4 more bands from diverse musical backgrounds, representing Boston’s music scene in all its glory. One of the great things about the Rumble is that each night of the competition there’s something for everyone. And of course, “competition” is a term used loosely. It’s a showcase, a celebration. Come down to support your favorite band or experience some of Boston’s top bands of today playing their very best. Well worth the money, time and effort – come on down.
Hey friends of WMFO!
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the 2014 WMFO Donations Drive and made it such a smashing success. We made our goal of $5000 and we couldn’t have done it without your help!
Barricades won Night 3. (SoozTV)
By now you should have heard about the legendary Rock and Roll Rumble that started up on Sunday night. For those who are new, the Rumble is the World Series of Boston Rock, played over several nights, where 24 bands compete to be named the winner. Three more nights of Preliminaries remain, and then on to the Semi-Finals and Finals. You have plenty of time to show up, so make plans now. Check out all of the bands here. You’re gonna find your new favorite local band today.
Boston Calling, the illustrious year-old Greater Boston music festival, is back for a third round and has at last finalized their line-up with a real treat: The Decemberists are going to be in town for their one and only tour date of 2014.
February’s arrived, and that means things are thawing out here in good old Massachusetts. In an effort to equally thaw out my music collection from having approximately one playlist on repeat all winter, I’ve been on the hunt for new bands and new albums to keep track of.
An old favorite of mine to find bands has been NPR’s First Listen series, which has historically hosted a lot of amazing albums before they were available for public release – including Grouplove’s Spreading Rumours, among others. Spotify and Pandora also have their place in my heart, shiny bite-sized sampler tables that they really are.
But I’m not here to talk about those. I’m here to talk about my latest online music-aggregating obsession: NoiseTrade.
It was on a sunny afternoon at the Doe Bay Festival on Orcas Island, Washington when I discovered Animal Eyes. They were sandwiched between multiple good acts, and often bands that played in that time slot were forgotten in the mix of so much good talent. But Animals Eyes stuck out to me. I watched and listened with my friends, after each song grinning from ear to ear. These guys were really good. After one song that sounded particularly great, bassist and vocalist Colin McArthur announced, “That was a new one we haven’t released yet called Mushroom Hunter.”
“Mushroom Hunter,” I repeated to myself. I had to own it the second it became available. (more…)
A few weekends ago, Father John Misty performed right near the Tufts campus at the Somerville Theater. After a long solo career as J. Tillman, during which he released seven albums, he “relaunched” under this new persona to release 2012’s fantastic Fear Fun. Perhaps what was most exciting about the night was seeing him so comfortable with the Father John Misty character, and having a clear direction of where he’s going from here.
To start the night, Tillman featured comedienne Kate Berlant. Berlant is a New York City-based performer whose satirical, offbeat style took the audience by surprise. She opens her act by coming on stage with an acoustic guitar. “Oh, a musical comedienne”, most of us thought. Instead, we got a hilarious caricature of self-indulged performers. Her act consists of her intending on “playing a couple of songs” for the crowd, but constantly getting distracted and going off on pretentious tangents about this world we live in and the media and missing someone who you’ve never even met.