Mavis Staples at Millennium Park

The “Great Performers of Illinois” weekend at Millennium Park closed last night (Aug. 12) with someone who more than lives up to that title, one of the all-time great gospel singers, Mavis Staples. She gave a rousing performance, belting out traditional songs as well as some well-chosen covers (the Band’s “The Weight” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”). She has a way of pausing in her singing, sputtering a little bit as if the emotion has overcome her, making it impossible for her to go on, and then bursting out with a holler that’s more intense than what came before. She told stories about her days playing in the Staples Singers with her dad, Roebuck “Pop” Staples, finishing up the show with the very first song Pop taught his children to sing, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

See my photos of Mavis Staples.

Leave a Reply