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A leading musical voice of the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘60s, the long-running family gospel group The Staple Singers became secular stars after joining Stax Records at the end of the decade. On funky but still uplifting hits like “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There” and “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me),” Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his daughters Mavis, Cleotha and Yvonne spread an exuberant message of hope, underscoring soul music’s deep roots in the church.
Compiling their six albums for the label along with a separate disc of extras, Come Go with Me: The Stax Collection is a joyous experience from start to finish. From arresting covers of The Band’s “The Weight” and Joe South’s “Games People Play,” to the rollicking obscurity “Walking in Water Over Your Head,” to the group’s memorable live performance at the Wattstax Festival, and so much more, the Staples display an overflowing generosity of spirit that’s impossible to resist. Mavis is an electrifying, powerhouse lead singer with the ability to knock down walls (which remains true today), while “Pops” anchors the quartet with his own rich, resonant voice and shimmering electric guitar (though there’s never enough of it). Not for believers only, Come Go with Me will soothe and inspire anyone looking for relief from 2020 and a positive start in the new year.
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