Published Jan 12, 2015Soul legend Mavis Staples has recorded her last couple of albums with producer Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco), and now those collaborators have teamed up once again. This time, they finished off some posthumous recordings by Staples' father, the Staples Singers patriarch Pops Staples.
The result is the album Don't Lose This, which will be out on February 17 through Anti- along with Wilco's own dBpm label.
The recordings were made in 1999, and Pops passed away in 2000. To finish it up, Tweedy played bass and his son Spencer handled drums, while Mavis recorded some new vocals.
In a statement [via Pitchfork], Mavis explained that it had originally been intended as a Staples Singers album.
It was meant to be our last work, but my sisters and I decided to let Pops sing, to let him have this one. ... One day, Pops told me, "Mavis, bring that record up here, I want to hear it." I brought it up to the bedroom and he listened. When it was over, Pops told me, "Mavis, don't lose this here." I said, "OK, Pops, I won't lose it." And he just smiled. It was a moment I'll never forget. He had this glow after listening to it; he loved it. So I kept it.
I always said I was going to get it out there because Pops told me not to lose it. When he said, "Don't lose this," that meant: "Let it be heard."
Below, listen to the mellow, vintage-flavoured soul track "Somebody Was Watching." Also below, see a short making-of featurette about the album.