Mavis Staples revisits songs forever associated with the civil rights movement on her new album, "We'll Never Turn Back," her debut for Anti-. Due April 24, the 12-track set was produced by Ry Cooder,
Mavis Staples revisits songs forever associated with the civil rights movement on her new album, "We'll Never Turn Back," her debut for Anti-. Due April 24, the 12-track set was produced by Ry Cooder, who contributed two original songs and new arrangements of the traditional "This Little Light" and "99 and a Half."
"The feeling is that freedom songs and the civil rights movement have particular relevance today in light of what's going on with the war and the conservatism in the U.S.," Epitaph/Anti- founder Brett Gurewitz tells Billboard.com. "Hopefully we can subtly point out through this record that liberalism has a foundation in spirituality itself. It's a political record, but one with a lot of soul."
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, bassist Mike Elizondo and drummer Jim Keltner also contributed to the project, which Anti- president Andy Kaulkin says was inspired by the civil rights book "Walking With the Wind," written by Georgia congressman John Lewis.
"I was really getting obsessed with that while Mavis' manager was calling me," Kaulkin says. "It just clicked in my head. We had been talking about working with Mavis and the right way to present her. Mavis was there. The Staples Singers were doing freedom songs before there was a term [for] 'freedom songs.'"
Here is the track listing for "We'll Never Turn Back:
"Down in Mississippi"
"Eyes on the Prize"
"We Shall Not Be Moved"
"In the Mississippi River"
"On My Way"
"This Little Light"
"99 and a Half"
"My Own Eyes"
"Turn Me Around"
"We'll Never Turn Back"
"I'll Be Rested"
"Jesus Is on the Main Line"