Near the end of the legendary concert film ‘The Last Waltz’, The Band and The Staples Singers perform ‘The Weight’ together on a sound stage. As they exit the final verse of the song Mavis Staples begins to clap as her voice soars above the group. That one brief moment is one of the most profoundly moving performances of the entire film.
In 2011 Mavis Staples reunited with drummer Levon Helm from The Band for a show at Helm’s studio in New York. On May 20th, 2022 ANTI- records will release a recording of this performance. In anticipation they have created a video for a cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s classic song ‘You’ve Got to Move’ featuring Staples, Helm, Amy Helm and the rest of the band in rehearsals preparing for the show. The pair’s mutual love and admiration is on full display on ‘Carry Me Home’, which features a mix of Staples’ and Helm’s bands operating at the peak of their powers as they work their way through an eclectic setlist of tunes made famous by the likes of Nina Simone, The Impressions, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones.
“It never crossed my mind that it might be the last time we’d see each other,” says Staples. “He was so full of life and so happy that week. He was the same old Levon I’d always known, just a beautiful spirit inside and out.”
Mavis Staples and Levon’s daughter, Amy Helm, will be performing together in the UK and Europe this coming June.
When I first read that last sentence I thought Amy was Mavis’s daughter, but now just hoping for a Mavis guest appearance at Black Deer!