By Robb Patryk
(October 15, 2016) The late Pops Staples, patriarch of the legendary Staples Singers, laid down his final tracks in 1999, but was unable to complete the recordings before his death in 2000. Fifteen years later, his daughter Mavis Staples teamed up with producer Jeff Tweedy, the lead singer and guitarist for Wilco, to finish them; Tweedy and his son added bass and drums, and Mavis additional vocals. The resulting posthumous album, Don’t Lose This, was released last year, and somehow it escaped our notice. The title has special significance: After asking to hear his new recordings shortly before his death, and being pleased by them, Pops was heard to say “Mavis, don’t lose this here.” Lucky for us, she listened. This record is simply delightful.
We feature here 2 tracks, the album’s opener, “Somebody Was Watching,” a bluesy, mid-tempo song of praise featuring Pops’s spare, spikey electric guitar work and his still-silky, thick lead vocal, and “Love On My Side,” with Mavis on vocals and Pops delivering blistering, distorted guitar licks. Enjoy.