From her first performances as a teenager in the 1950s through her era-defining hits in the 1970s and even up to her Grammy-winning comeback albums with Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples has created some of the most joyous music ever. For her latest solo effort, however, she wanted something even more exuberant, even more celebratory—something in the vein of Pharrell Williams’ "Happy." "When I heard it, wow, it just lifted me up," she told the Guardian recently. "I told my songwriters I wanted songs just like that, that would make people smile, also because I’ve been making people cry for so long." Certainly Livin’ on a High Note sounds like a happy album.
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