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If All I Was Was Black

by Mavis Staples

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Mavis Staples has again joined forces with songwriter-producer Jeff Tweedy for a new album entitled If All I Was Was Black, out this November 17th.

The history Mavis recalls from her early years touring with her family as The Staple Singers, the prejudice, ugliness and danger, well it’s all still here. In response, the singer has delivered If All I Was Was Black, ten songs about contemporary America today, a present day filled with ghosts of the past. "Nothing has changed," Mavis remarked in early August, just days before neo-Nazis marched with swastika flags in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a young woman was murdered. "We are still in it.”

If All I Was Was Black is Mavis' third collaboration with songwriter and producer (and Wilco frontman) Jeff Tweedy. Their first partnership in 2010, You Are Not Alone, won a Grammy Award for Best Americana album. Their second effort together, One True Vine, was a Grammy nominee. But If All I Was Was Black marks the first time Tweedy has composed an entire album of original songs for Mavis' legendary voice and a nation she's uniquely poised to address.


released November 17, 2017

Recorded and Mixed at the Loft, Chicago 2017
Produced by Jeff Tweedy
Engineered and mixed by Tom Schick
Mastered by Bob Ludwig - Gateway Mastering
Assistant Engineer - Mark Greenberg
Cover Photo by Zoran Orlić
Cover Art - Mark Greenberg, Spencer Tweedy, Trevor Hernandez

Mavis Staples - vocals
Jeff Tweedy - guitar, bass, percussion, vocals
Spencer Tweedy - drums, percussion
Donny Gerrard - backup vocals
Vicki Randle - backup vocals
Kelly Hogan - backup vocals
Akenya Seymour - backup vocals
Rick Holmstrom - guitar
Jeff Turmes - bass
Stephen Hodges - drums, percussion
Glenn Kotche - percussion
Scott Ligon - clavinet, piano, organ, Wurly, guitar


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Mavis Staples Chicago, Illinois

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