Get Off The Bus Concerts and Visit Mount Dora are pleased to present Mavis Staples with special guest Charlie Musselwhite on Saturday, December 7th at 7:00 pm at the Mount Dora Plaza Live in Mount Dora, Florida. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at https://getoffthebusconcerts.com/concerts/mavis-staples/ or https://www.mountdoraplazalive.com/mavis.php. This show is in support of Lake Cares Food Pantry, a Lake County need-based organization whose goal is to feed the body, educate the mind and lift the spirit of all individuals.
“I’m the messenger,” Mavis Staples says on the eve of her 80th birthday. “That’s my job—it has been for my whole life—and I can’t just give up while the struggle’s still alive. We’ve got more work to do, so I’m going to keep on getting stronger and keep on delivering my message every single day.”
That message—a clarion call to love, to faith, to justice, to brotherhood, to joy—lies at the heart of ‘We Get By,’ Staples’ spectacular twelfth studio album and first full-length collaboration with multi-GRAMMY Award-winner Ben Harper. Backed by her longtime touring band, Staples breathes extraordinary life into Harper’s compositions on the record, delivering roof-raising performances with both a youthful vigor and a commanding maturity. The arrangements here are spare but weighty, matched by Harper’s suitably lean and thoughtful production, and Staples seizes the opportunity to showcase her remarkable and continued evolution as an artist, one still growing and exploring more than half a century into her storied career. ‘We Get By’ is undoubtedly a timely collection, arriving such as it does in the face of deep social divisions and heightened political tensions, but like everything Staples touches, it’s also larger than any particular moment, a timeless appeal to the better angels of our nature that’s universal in its reach and unwavering in its assurance of better things to come.
Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Mavis Staples is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a GRAMMY Award-winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. She’s collaborated with everyone from Prince and Bob Dylan to Arcade Fire and Hozier, blown away countless festivalgoers from Newport Folk and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, performed with The Band at The Last Waltz, and graced the airwaves on Fallon, Colbert, Ellen, Austin City Limits, Jools Holland, the GRAMMYs, and more. At a time when most artists begin to wind down, Staples ramped things up, releasing a trio of critically acclaimed albums in her 70’s with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy that prompted Pitchfork to rave that “her voice has only gained texture and power over the years” and People to proclaim that she “provides the comfort of a higher power.” In between records with Tweedy, Staples teamed up with a slew of other younger artists—Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Nick Cave, Valerie June, tUnE-yArDs, and M. Ward among others—for ‘Livin’ On A High Note,’ an album The Boston Globe called “stunningly fresh and cutting edge”.
“I sing because I want to leave people feeling better than I found them,” says Staples. “I want them to walk away with a positive message in their hearts, feeling stronger than they felt before. I’m singing to myself for those same reasons, too.”
Even the messenger needs a reminder every now and then.
About Charlie Musselwhite
With an induction into the Blues Music Hall of Fame, 35 Blues Music Awards (including three wins in 2014!) and 11 Grammy nominations (including a 2014 win!), American electric blues harmonica player and bandleader Charlie Musselwhite has truly earned legendary status as one of blues music¹s most important artists.
One of the non-black bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s (alongside Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield, among others), Musselwhite was reportedly the inspiration for Dan Aykroyd’s character in The Blues Brothers. He was born in Mississippi but spent his formative years in Memphis, TN during the period when rockabilly, western swing, electric blues and other forms of African American music were combining to give birth to rock and roll. Musselwhite supported himself by digging ditches, laying concrete and running moonshine in a 1950 Lincoln automobile. This environment was Musselwhite¹s school for music, as well as life, and where he acquired the nickname “Memphis Charlie.”
In true bluesman fashion, Musselwhite then took off to Chicago, where he continued his education on the South Side, making the acquaintance of even more legends including Lew Soloff, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. Musselwhite immersed himself completely in the musical life, living in the basement of Big Joe Williams and forging a lifelong friendship with JohnLee Hooker. In time, Musselwhite led his own blues band and in 1966 released the legendary “Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band.” Since then, Musselwhite has released over 25 albums, as well as guesting on albums by many other notable musicians including Bonnie Raitt, INXS, Tom Waits and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among others. Musselwhite recently teamed up with Ben Harper on “Get Up!” — the long time coming collaboration that took home the Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2014.
About Get Off The Bus Concerts
Get Off The Bus Concerts came about through the vision of Joe and Fatima Bamford, former owners of HALJOE COACHES. After a long and varied career in the music and entertainment industry Joe thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do some concerts with some people who have traveled on our buses over the years?” Inspired by their daughter, Jenn, who fundraises relentlessly for several organizations in her hometown of Moncton, New Brunswick, Joe and Fatima realized the importance of giving back so decided to turn their concert idea to draw attention and support for worthwhile causes. Some of the concerts have included Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Styx, Loretta Lynn, Neil Sedaka, LeAnn Rimes, Charlie Pride, Kansas, REO Speedwagon, Eddie Money, Jack Hanna and the late Merle Haggard. For more information visit GetOffTheBusConcerts.com.