Waltons World Masters Series
‘Mavis Staples doesn’t so much sing a song as baptize it in truth.’
– Boston Globe
When Saturday, 3 November 2012
Where National Concert Hall, Main Auditorium
Presented by Waltons New School of Music
RTÉ lyric fm
Dublin Conrad Hotel
Mavis Staples Group
Mavis Staples • Lead Vocals
Yvonne Staples, Vicki Randle & Donny Gerrard • Backing Vocals
Rick Holmstrom • Guitar
Jeff Turmes • Bass, Guitar
Stephen Hodges • Drums
‘Mavis Staples is the most underrated diva of the century. She has an almost superhuman ability to implant the pure power of passion and emotion.’
– Rolling Stone
‘[A] a voice of reassurance in troubled times.’
– Chicago Tribune
‘The only word that will really do for Mavis Staples is righteous.’
– Evening Standard
Mavis Staples’ career is one of the most remarkable in all of music, not only for its spirit and longevity, but also for the period of history that it spans. The gospel music of The Staples Singers in the 1950s blossomed into the 1960s popular mainstream on the strength of Mavis Staples’ voice, and she was at the epicentre of the civil rights movement, when she sang for both Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. Her later career includes both powerful solo recordings and collaborations with such major artists as Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder and Prince (who called her ‘the epitome of soul’). Mavis’ most recent collaborator is Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who produced her 2011 Grammy Award winning You Are Not Alone. From the National Endowment for the Arts to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, recognition and awards have finally caught up with one of the greatest voices of our time.
Ireland has its own great tradition of gospel and soul music, and one very special aspect of this concert is that the support act, Tig Linn, was selected through the second nationwide Waltons World Masters • RTÉ lyric fm Gospel Competition.
Waltons World Masters, in association with RTÉ lyric fm, ran its second nationwide Gospel Competition to support Mavis Staples in the National Concert Hall.
Our five Competition finalists – in alphabetical order – were:
- A Glór Gospel
- B & The Honeyboys
- Gardiner Street Gospel Choir
- Maynooth Gospel Choir
- Tig Linn
Their entries were sent on to Mavis Staples for her final decision, and although she was very impressed by the quality of the gospel-related acts who participated in the Competition, Tig Linn’s blend of the African roots of gospel with Irish sounds, as well as their performances at events related to social protest, spoke to her the most, and she selected them to support her.
A Glór Gospel
A Glór Gospel is an all-female, multinational gospel choir that performs primarily a capella or accompanied by the cajón (a flamenco drum). Members come from many faiths, cultures and countries, which have included France, Sweden, the USA, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Germany, Canada and of course Ireland. They are a community choir that is open to any woman aged 18 or over who is willing to commit to the choir, regardless of past experience or skill level. A Glór Gospel, previously the Fountain Gospel Choir, began in August 2005 and in April 2008 changed their name to A Glór (‘her voice’ in Irish) Gospel. They have been based at St. Andrew’s on Westland Row in Dublin since 2007 and perform for mass there on the last Saturday of every month at 7 pm. A Glór has performed for many events and in many venues, including the Gospel Rising Festival, the Sugar Club, Console Celebration of Light and the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin. They perform frequently for charity events and promote a culture of giving and volunteerism within their group and beyond.
B & The Honeyboys
B & The Honeyboys was originally formed by B (aka Aileen Mythen from Wexford), ‘a real discovery, her voice filling your head with pure soul as she gets under the skin of the songs and sings them from the inside out’ (Hot Press), and K.J. Mac (aka Kieran McEvoy from Dublin), who ‘has a kick-ass full-on guitar style for the which the word gritty may have been specially coined’ (also Hot Press). They immediately set about recording their first album of original material, and on the back of this they toured Ireland, France, Scotland and the U.K. They are currently recording their second album, which will be released in February 2013. B & The Honeyboys is also made up of Gavin Ralston (guitar), Aongas Ralston (bass) and Sean Devitt (drums).
Gardiner Street Gospel Choir
Founded in 2000, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir have been the centrepiece of the uplifting and inspirational Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Mass for nearly thirteen years. Blending traditional gospel sounds with a varied mix of pop/rock, reggae, soul and modern gospel, the choir perform to packed houses not only in their own church, but in their regular gigs throughout Dublin and beyond. Having collaborated with artists such as Aslan, Kíla and Luka Bloom to name but a few, the choir have been able to share their own unique gospel style with some of Ireland’s finest musicians. As well as a variety of styles in their performances, the choir’s multicultural membership is renowned for inspiring audiences and getting them dancing and singing in the aisles.
Maynooth Gospel Choir
Made up of 21 members and bringing together a range of musical experience from traditional, classical and of course gospel, the Maynooth Gospel Choir was formed in 2007. They have since toured around Ireland with Jack L, appeared on RTÉ’s Don’t Tell the Bride and The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O’Connor, and featured on Radio 1, 2fm and Today FM. They have also performed for countless charities and festivals, including Special Olympics Ireland, Console, Culture Night and The Dublin City Soul Festival. In 2012 they had the honour of performing at the opening ceremony of the Eucharistic Congress in front of 15,000 spectators at the RDS on 10 June and for the World Street Performance Championships in Dublin in July.
Tig Linn began in 2011 as a loose collective of African and Irish musicians from the groups De jimbe, Kíla and Discovery Gospel Choir. The intercultural nature of Tig Linn, as well as their positive outlook, made them immediately in demand among rights activists, and they played for Trócaire at the Grand Social, at Occupy Dame Street and to thousands of protestors at the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope on O’Connell Street. In their first year, they performed on the Vincent Browne Show on RTÉ One and on the John Creedon Show on RTÉ Radio 1). In July 2012 they were joined on stage in St Stephen’s Green by 100 drummers, playing a special arrangement of Ololufe, an original song written and performed by the youngest member of the group, Zeenat Sarumi (20). Over the course of this year the group has solidified from a loose collective into a solid core of seven musicians, playing mostly original material composed by the group but drawing heavily on their roots in soul, gospel, African and traditional Irish music
A selection of photographs by Mary Guinan of the extraordinary Mavis Staples and her band during their Waltons World Masters concert on 3 November 2012.