Of the first family of gospel music, Griffin says,
“In my life it goes like this: The Beatles, Aretha Franklin and the Staple Singers. The Staples are that big for me.”And Buddy Miller, who produced the CD, added,
“Pop Staples is at the top of the list as far as who guitar players should be tipping their hat to. He is an unsung hero of the guitar.”You'll get no disagreement from me on either of these points, although it sometimes seems like people think that Pop Staples is the only gospel star worth bringing forth for the mass audience -- what about the music of Brother Joe May or the Reverend James Cleveland or Dorothy Love Coates? Mavis Staples, after all, is still out there, carrying on her father's music and is quite clearly recognized as one of the gospel greats.
I also can't help but take the opportunity to plug one of my favorite albums: Marty Stuart's Souls' Chapel. Marty Stuart knew Pop Staples and learned a lot about music from him, and on Souls' Chapel, he and his Fabulous Superlatives nail the Staples Singers' sound. And they nail it live, too.
I look forward to seeing how Patty Griffin handles the material, and I'm pleased to see Pop Staples' name being put out there.