Entertainment

Mavis Staples boasts about Bluesfest

Mavis Staples is all set for Bluesfest.
Mavis Staples is all set for Bluesfest. Contributed

IT'S hard to believe Mavis Staples won her first Grammy award last year.

Staples started her career with her family gospel group The Staple Singers more than 60 years ago.

Even if you're less than half that age it would be hard not to know their hit I'll Take You There.

Throughout her career she has worked with everyone from Curtis Mayfield to Ray Charles and even inspired Michael Jackson.

When she picked up the Grammy last year for best Americana album, for You Are Not Alone, she says it was a long time coming herself.

"That was amazing," she says. "The feeling was unbelievable.

"I couldn't stop crying. I had prepared a speech in case, but it took me a while to get it out.''

Staples goes on to say she's been singing for so many years and she'd been nominated so many times, that to win was the best feeling.

She even speaks of the surprise of not winning on another occasion.

"I'll Take You There was the biggest record for that year, so when they announced it - Gladys Knight and The Pips - my sisters and I were so upset," she says.

Her father, Pops as she calls him, talked them out of feeling sorry for themselves though.

"He said 'Now, I don't want you holding your heads down, that is just a material thing, you're singing to get your just reward'. Ever since then I never did care.

"When I was nominated for this one though I had to talk to Pops and say that I was sorry but I wanna go on and win it."

The Staple Singers were nominated 12 times and Staples was nominated twice before finally getting her just reward, as she put it.

She has since been given a Grammy lifetime achievement award, listed in Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers of all time and picked up a Living Blues Award for most outstanding blues singer.

And for all her achievements, all the people she's worked with, Staples is the first to admit she doesn't actually know music.

When she sang the national anthem in Boston, she says she had to call her Pops to find out what key she'd be singing in.

"I just started hitting different notes on the phone to Pops, he said, 'OK, you go back and tell them you're singing in the key of A'."

Staples will be in Australia next year for Bluesfest.

When they first started getting invites to blues festivals, Staples says she was a little confused.

"I asked Pops, 'why are these people calling from blues festivals?' he said 'Mavis you go back and listen to our music. We have bits of all music in there'."

Her father had taught himself how to play music by listening to the blues.

"Gospel and blues are cousins," she says.

"They do the same thing - all music makes you feel good.

"We used to ask the media 'don't categorise us, we're just God's children playing music'."

And when she plays Bluesfest she'll be following the same rules.

Mavis Staples plays Bluesfest, March 28 - April 1. For the full line-up and ticketing head to the website.

Topics:  bluesfest 2013



Gig Guide: What's on around town

Former The Voice contestant Dallas James will play the Currumbin RSL on Saturday.

Gig guide: January 19-22, 2017

MPs say farewell to Baird

NSW Premier Mike Baird announced his resignation in Sydney today.

Provest expects more change at the top

Local Partners

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Dinky-di Denyer: Family Feud favourite hosts Oz Day party

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

GRANT Denyer shares his Australia Day traditions ahead of concert.

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!