Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stax Southern Soul Sisters

The powerful bluesy organ intro foreshadows Mavis Staples' voice in the opening couplet to Since I Fell For You (mp3) : You made me leave my happy home/You took my love and now you're gone. There are blues in this southern soul, yet Mavis sings with the power and spirit of a gospel song; unsurprisingly, this was the first secular song that Mavis learned to sing. It's a song about loss, and it's devastating, but in the end, you don't feel that this is defeated woman, but one with an enduring spirit.

Mabel John's I'm Running Out (mp3) also has an intro that immediately attracts and holds the ear, but this one does it with play between guitar, horns, and bass. This song, too, is about the pain of bad love, and again, the triumph of a strong independent spirit, rather than a lonely woman's sorrow, is what shines through.

Both songs are from The Stax Soul Sisters.

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