Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples didn't really need reinventing, but she has found a new niche in uniting gospel-soul and Americana music.
For "One True Vine" (Anti-), Staples reunites with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who produces, plays and helps make some of the song choices. Her soulful take on Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That" and gorgeously restrained version of Low's "Holy Ghost" are especially inspired. However, Staples is at her best on "One True Vine" when she gets a hold of stripped-down gospel songs like "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today" and the acoustic blues spiritual "Sow Good Seeds."
"One True Vine"
THE GRADE B+
BOTTOM LINE Acoustic soul and deep, warm vocals
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