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Ashley Needle and Darren Morris

Mavis

(!K7; US: 23 Feb 2010; UK: 15 Feb 2010)

In tribute to Mavis Staples

Ashley Beedle and Darren Morris heard a version of soul great Mavis Staples covering Burt Bacharach’s “A House Is Not a Home” and were blown away by the enormity of her talent. The two were aware of Mavis and the Staples Singers’ involvement in the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s, as well as their musical talent, but hearing Mavis again re-motivated the duo. They produced an instrumental inspired by Staples’ rendition of the Bacharach song and sent the track to a dozen of their friends and favorite musicians to add their own stamp on the music. The results of the collaborations include a wonderful mix of styles by international artists as diverse and talented as alternative provocateur Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, gospel crooner Candi Staton, Scottish rocker Edwyn Collins, South African singer Cherilyn MacNeil, Reykjavik’s pop diva Disa, and more. While the tracks all share the same chord structure, they have little else in common outside of their excellence. Of particular merit are Ed Harcourt’s tender “Puzzles & Riddles” and Cerys Matthews’ seductive “Nemesis Required”, but all of the cuts are exceptional and inspirational in their own way, just like Mavis Staples herself.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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Ashley Beedle and Darren Morriss (feat. Kurt Wagner) - Gangs of Rome
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