Mavis Staples and Levon Helm: album from the archives

Mavis Staples cover: Levon Helm kissing Mavis Staples on the head

Hot on the heels of our release roundup feature on archive footage videos, we’re pleased to see that Mavis Staples has delved into her archives to find a gem. It’s a joyous video of Mavis Staples and Levon Helm performing a cover of Nina Simone‘s I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free. Unbeknownst to them, it was one of Helm’s last ever recordings.

“It never crossed my mind that it might be the last time we’d see each other. 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

Poignantly, Mavis Staples and Levon Helm recorded This May Be The Last Time during their week together at Levon Helm Studios in New York. Since Helm was the drummer and a vocalist in The Band, they also covered their perennial classic The Weight.

Twelve recordings from that magical week in 2011 have now been compiled on the album Carry Me Home. It’s due out on ANTI- Records on May 20, 2022.

Mavis Staples and Levon Helm – Carry Me Home tracklisting

  1. This Is My Country
  2. Trouble In My Mind
  3. Farther Along
  4. Hand Writing On The Wall
  5. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
  6. Move Along Train
  7. This May Be The Last Time
  8. When I Go Away
  9. Wide River To Cross
  10. You Got To Move
  11. You Got To Serve Somebody
  12. The Weight

Mavis Staples tour dates

  • 11 June, 2022 – Kite Festival, Kidlington
  • 13 June, 2022 – Subscription Rooms, Stroud
  • 14 June, 2022 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
  • 16 June, 2022 – Union Chapel, London
  • 17 June, 2022 – Union Chapel, London
  • 19 June, 2022 – Isle of Wight Festival, Newport

Levon’s daughter and Midnight Ramble Band member Amy Helm will be joining Mavis for the concerts in Stroud, Edinburgh, and London. Amy will also be headlining shows at The Louisiana in Bristol on June 11 and St Pancras Old Church in London on June 20.

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