Mavis: New album inspired by iconic Mavis Staples

Ashley Beedle’s Mavis project incorporates seemingly disparate influences ranging from 60s soul to reggae soundsystem culture to shimmering Phil Spectre style production, brought together by an experimental recording approach to yield music that transcends genre. The inspiration for the project struck three years ago when Beedle and musical partner Darren Morris were blown away by a cover version of Burt Bacharach’sA House Is Not A Home” performed by 60s icon Mavis Staples. The duo ended up producing an instrumental inspired by the track, and sending it to a series of favorite vocalists they hand picked to deliver their own take on the music. The producers then subverted the backing track, suggesting a reggae riddim approach, for a collection of unique tracks informed by the same chord structure and points of influence.
To Ashley, Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers have always been hugely iconic. “They’re the glue in our DNA”, says Ashley, “Not only was their recorded work amazing but their involvement in the Civil Rights movement really meant something to me.”
Read MORE, download this track and get tracklisting below

The respect for Mavis’ work is shared by the collaborators, who have contributed their own stories and tales from the heart, following the inspirational Mavis trail, steered by Ashley and Darren. Revered artists such as Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, Candi Staton, Ed Harcourt, Edwyn Collins, Cerys Matthews and Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell have thrown themselves heart and soul into the concept, paving the way for a palette of fresh talent such as Crazy P’s Danielle Moore, John Turrell of Smoove & Turrell, Disa from Reykjavik and Dear Reader’s Cherilyn MacNeil from South Africa. The vocal talent appearing on Mavis is evocative, aspirational, inspirational and honest. On listening to the album, one can hear how the project grew and gained musical form from the input of collaborators Kurt Wagner, Disa and Edwyn Collins, whose individual tracks sweep across a similar landscape. Mavis is a project that prides itself in being steeped in rich musical history, which will not only reach out to and seduce a more mature music-loving audience, but will also tantalise the eclectic taste buds of younger generation of fans. Ashley, Darren and this team of talented artists have steered this music of classic heritage into a contemporary context, the result being a modern and timeless musical adventure which still maintains the messages and inspirations of the original piece. “Listen. Dreaming of Mavis, some singers, some kindred spirits, lovingly selected, having never met, each other or her, passing on their feelings, from song to song, meeting place to meeting place, finding their Mavis, loving her in the imagination, praising Mavis, the way her hands moved, how she breathed, the rebellious wisdom, the faith, sorrow and trust, the inner mystery, gracing Mavis, the city she built, the mountains she moved, the beautiful and tough songs she sung, out of heavy shadows and great light, ruins and fragments, mouth and nerve.” All Hail Mavis.

Tracklisting:

Gangs of Rome feat. Kurt Wagner
What You Looking For feat. John Turrell
Nemesis Required feat. Cerys Matthews
Revolution feat. Candi Staton
Puzzles & Riddles feat. Ed Harcourt
When I Walk With You (Heartbreak Song) feat. Sarah Cracknell
Sinful Love feat. Disa
Dreamers (Interlude) feat. Chris Coco
Let Your Love Shine feat. Danielle Moore
4:14 feat. Cherilyn MacNeil
Feeling Lucky feat. Edwyn Collins




Mavis feat Ed Harcourt – Puzzles & Riddles

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