Mavis Staples Joined by Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller at Bonnaroo
The words "Bonnaroo" and "church" don't exactly go together, a fact acknowledged by Mavis Staples during her early afternoon set on Sunday, the last day of the festival. But that was not going to damper the 72-year-old songstress' good mood.
Erika Goldring, WireImage
"This is the closest you are going to get to church today... Amen," shouted Staples in her smoky growl of a voice, which the crowd ate up within seconds of her first song.
The hour-and-a-half long set featured tracks off her latest album, 'You Are Not Alone,' along with a number of old classics. Watching Staples power through songs like 'The Weight" and 'Wade in the Water' is quite a sight, as the audience hangs on to her every syllable, singing along and dancing effortlessly. And to show that the iconic singer doesn't need to fall back on her older, more popular tracks, she decided to bust out new material from the Jeff Tweedy-produced album she released last year. While less recognizable to her earlier hits, they still pack a punch of soul and kept the crowd moving the entire time.Also joining in on the performance were country legends Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller, who each sang verses on 'The Weight.' Not that Staples' backing band needed any help: at one point, Mavis took a three-song break as the group played a set of funky instrumental tracks.
But everyone knew who the real leader of this Sunday congregation was, as Mavis returned to the stage for 'I'll Take You There' and a cover of Buffalo Springfield's 'For What It's Worth.' And for what it's worth, that takes guts considering that a recently reunited Buffalo Springfield played the song themselves, on the main stage, just