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Mavis Staples Lights Up the Gospel Tent

Tag(s): Jazz Fest and Live event

Mavis Staples

It's hard to tell who was more excited: the adoring Gospel Tent audience or Mavis Staples. But don't let that wide grin fool you — when she does a low-down number, she still growls like a tiger. And as she demonstrated and told the audience, "I can still shake, baby!"

Mavis was backed up by a pretty bare-bones arrangement of guitar, bass, drums and a few backup singers (there might have been somebody else tucked away), and I was impressed by how much individual charm they displayed. I wasn't the only one; the soulstress herself didn't hold back from letting them know she was feeling it.

Shortly after the show, I had to make the tough decision between seeing Etta James or Sharon Jones. But whatever you do, don't call this a warm-up!

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