Mavis Staples drops a benefit single to help Chicago seniors survive the pandemic | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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Mavis Staples drops a benefit single to help Chicago seniors survive the pandemic

Plus: Mukqs embarks on a weekly series of live-recorded experimental EPs, and soul man Nate Barksdale colors his melodies with funk and hip-hop.

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Mavis Staples at the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival - TIM NAGLE
  • Tim Nagle
  • Mavis Staples at the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival

During her rousing afternoon set at last summer's Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples claimed she was thinking of running for president to help get rid of "the orange face up in the office." Let's be frank—she wouldn't even have to ask for Gossip Wolf's vote! On Friday, Staples dropped "All in It Together," a slippery, Stones-y new single she wrote with longtime collaborator Jeff Tweedy that benefits the Senior Viral Response program of Chicago nonprofit My Block My Hood My City, which aims to get hand sanitizer, groceries, and other necessities to isolated members of the city's aging population during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's worth buying just for the cause, but you also get to hear an amazing ensemble that includes Tweedy's Wilco bandmate Glenn Kotche, singer Akenya Seymour, and the terrific honky-tonk piano of Scott Ligon. The song is selling via Bandcamp for $1 or more, so use that "more" option if you can!

For three weeks now, experimental musician Mukqs, aka Hausu Mountain cofounder Maxwell Allison, has released a new weekly EP, recorded live with no overdubs, straight to Bandcamp. He began March 20 with the glitchy, glassy Anaglyph, made by running old recordings through a sampler and loop pedals. He followed it up March 27 with the whimsical Specular, and on April 2 he dropped the anxious, warped Choronzon. He intends to keep going for the foreseeable future—thanks to Mukqs for something to look forward to while we're stuck at home!

Gossip Wolf caught wind of rising local soul man Nate Barksdale after he dropped the sophisticated EP Neon Soul in September, and he's since self-released three more. On the latest EP, last month's Spiritual, Barksdale colors his luxurious melodies with touches of funk and hip-hop that bring out the earthiness in his sensual voice. He's still on the Tonic Room schedule for May 14, but we'll see how that goes!  v

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