18 Mar 2015

Marty Duda's artist of the week: Pops Staples

From Nine To Noon, 11:11 am on 18 March 2015

Fifteen years after his death and one hundred years after his birth, Roebuck "Pops" Staples has released a new album. Pops Staples was, of course, the patriarch of The Staple Singers, the gospel/funk group who started out in the late 1940s and scored several hits for Stax Records in the 1970s thanks to the soulful lead vocals of Pops' daughter, Mavis Staples. Pops himself was a direct link to early blues greats like Charley Patton, Son House and Robert Johnson, having played with both of them while growing up in rural Mississippi. Pops put out a series of bluesy solo albums in the 1990s leading up to his death in 2000. His new album, Don't Lose This, consists of his final recordings, some with The Staple Singers, others featuring just him and his guitar. Mavis Staplers brought the tapes to Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who prepared them for release, adding a bit more instrumentation where needed.