Mavis Staples Announces Jeff Tweedy-Produced New Album & Shares Single

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Legendary vocalist Mavis Staples will release a new album, If All I Was Was Black, on ANTI- Records on November 17. The album was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and features the title track as the lead single.

The new release marks the third album Staples has recorded with Tweedy as producer, joining 2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine. This time each of the 10 songs on If I All I Was Was Black were written by Tweedy, with Staples contributing lyrics to three of new compositions, including the title track. Many recent events are touched upon across If I All I Was Was Black which is said to be “about America today, where the present is filled with ghosts of the past.”

“We’re not loving one another the way we should,” Staples said in a statement. “Some people are saying they want to make the world great again, but we never lost our greatness. We just strayed into division.”

Staples was today confirmed as the opening act for the upcoming Bob Dylan Fall Tour. The Civil Rights Activist will join the singer-songwriter for several dates in October and November.

“I’ve always thought of art as a political statement in and of itself — that it was enough to be on the side of creation and not destruction,” Tweedy said in a statement. “But there is something that feels complicit at this moment in time about not facing what is happening in this country head on … The love I have for Mavis and the desire to be part of some kind of positive change are a big part of this album for me.”

Head here to pre-order the album and stream NPR Music-premiered “If All I Was Was Black” below:

If All I Was Was Black Tracklist

  1. Little Bit
  2. If All I Was Was Black
  3. Who Told You That
  4. Ain’t No Doubt About It (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
  5. Peaceful Dream
  6. No Time For Crying
  7. Build a Bridge
  8. We Go High
  9. Try Harder
  10. All Over Again
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