Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Dose of Courage

For my husband's birthday, we went to hear a double-feature concert at Duke of soul and gospel singer Mavis Staples, and The Blind Boys of Alabama, an African-American men's group formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939.

Staples, from a family of musical activists, sang songs from the Civil Rights Movement. This music helped people keep marching. It's a rousing reminder of a long, long struggle.

A suggestion: For artists engaged in a long, long effort to bring work into the world, these songs can re-energize, refresh hopes, and put difficulties into perspective.

Try listening to a cut of Staples' We'll Never Turn Back, produced by guitarist Ry Cooder and featuring backing from the original Freedom Singers and Ladysmith Black Mambazo It certainly refueled my engines.

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mamie said...

I was at the concert too and loved her music. I also especially loved the male back-up singer :) - and nothing would do until I had her new CD on my IPod. My favorite songs are Down in Mississippi and We Shall Not Be Moved. If you had been driving down Person Street last night around 9:15 and seen me in my car, you might have thought me crazy....

mamie said...

...crazy cause I'm singing We Shall Not Be Moved at the top of my lungs (just to clarify for those who might think I'm just a crazy person who drives down the streets of downtown late at night)