Mavis&Joan1Written by Michael Pittman

The First Lady of Gospel & Soul hit the newly enlarged stage at Dosey Doe’s Big Barn bringing a lifetime of energy to a packed house in The Woodlands.

In case you’re not familiar, her start came in the family band The Staples Singers in the early 50’s. Because of Pops Staples’ (her father) friendship with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, the band became the musical arm of King’s civil rights movement.

Her latest project entitled Your Good Fortune was released this year and she still tours like a teenager playing to packed houses everywhere. As Rolling Stone magazine put it “Best Show for Youngsters to See How It’s Done”.

At 76 she shows no signs of slowing down and her ability to ignite a crowd is still as legendary as her voice. There is just something magical when Mavis takes the stage. Is it the history? What is it about this lady who has seen so much adversity and heartache; who can still rise up to encourage you with songs like Respect Yourself and You Are Not Alone.

Most of us would have withered long ago, but there she was onstage at Dosey Doe so close you could almost reach out and touch her.

As you might expect, there was a lot of throwback to those heady days in the movement with songs like Fight and Freedom Highway. Perhaps I date myself, but I remember those days. I suppose it was for people like me that she did For What It’s Worth, which is a Stephen Stills song from the same era.

Opening for Mavis was the formidable and capable Joan Osborne. Joan is best known for her hit One of Us from the 90’s.

A veteran of the stage she was solidly herself and proved she has the ability to command a lustrous performance. Her latest project is with her band Trigger Happy which released their debut record in 2014.

Please see Mavis when you can. It’s so much more than music but you won’t know it til you see it for yourself. As she promises at the end of every show with I’ll Take You There…she does.