Mavis Staples and Levon Helm collaboration out on ANTI- Records
A year before Arkansas native Levon Helm died of throat cancer, he and gospel/soul artist Mavis Staples joined forces in Helm’s Woodstock barn for a performance, and 12 tracks documenting the gathering are out in full this week on ANTI-Records, a label that’s cemented Staples’ status in the interim years as a cornerstone of Southern music — and shone a light on its complicated relationship with civil rights.
The whole thing’s a jubilee, but there are some pretty great moments in this video of Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” iconized by Nina Simone in 1967.
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