Anyone lucky enough to catch “Summer of Soul,” Questlove Thompson’s outstanding documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, got to spend a little screen time with some of American R&B history’s foundational artists. Among them were The Staple Singers, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act that featured singer Mavis Staples.
And now – mercy! – you can spend actual face time with Grammy Award-winning, Blues Hall of Famer Staples on Wednesday, when she comes to Rocky Mount’s Harvester Performance Center.
At 82, Staples shows no signs of slowing down. She started in the 1950s, singing with her family gospel group. By the 1960s, The Staple Singers were becoming part of the Civil Rights movement, blending their music with messages of social justice — a cause which remains part of Staples’ life’s work to this day. Along the way, listeners have enjoyed such hits as “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself,” and the 2016 Kennedy Center honoree is still touring and releasing new albums.
Her latest is the 2019 release, “We Get By.” Go to this article at roanoke.com/entertainment/music to see and hear the title cut, a collaboration with producer Ben Harper. Her concerts over the past few years at Roanoke’s Jefferson Center have shown that she is not shy about performing her newer songs with her longtime backing band.