Mavis Staples will release her new studio album, We Get By, May 24, and today the iconic vocalist shares the record’s tracks ahead of its official release via NPR’s First Listen.
We Get By is a full-on collaboration with Ben Harper, who helmed both the songwriting and production aspects of the record. “When I first started reading the lyrics Ben wrote for me, I said to myself, ‘My God, he’s saying everything that needs to be said right now,’” Staples says. “But the songs were also true to my journey and the stories I’ve been singing all my life. There’s a spirituality and an honesty to Ben’s writing that took me back to church.”
Staples has also shared the title track from the album, along with a video of her and Harper discussing and recording the track in the studio. Watch that video below, and listen to all of We Get By via NPR here.
Earlier this week, the Americana Honors & Awards revealed that Staples, along with Brandi Carlile, Rhiannon Giddens and Kacey Musgraves, is a nominee for 2019 Artist of the Year. Staples is also celebrating her 80th birthday this year with a series of guest-filled performances, which continued in Nashville last night and LA later this month. The cross-country celebration began last week with a show at New York’s Apollo Theater, featuring David Byrne, Warren Haynes, Jason Isbell, Norah Jones, Lake Street Dive and more.