April 7, 2013

Rick Holmstrom & Mavis Staples, Auckland Town Hall

Of all the guitars on serious display at the final Auckland performance of Wilco's tour of Japan, Australia and New Zealand, for me it came down to Rick Holstrom of the Rick Holmstrom Band. Holstrom's spacious and groovy country blues licks drew Mavis Staples back into the days of performing on stage with Pop Staples - and then she just let rip on representing Chicago, Selma to Montgomery, marching, occupying, and an hour long certainty in the righteousness of man and song! With a playlist that spanned over 60 years and Holstroms earthy telecaster phrasings the Staples and Holstrom combo was organic, simple and seriously soulful ... and Wilco were good too (don't get me wrong), but I've seen them perform with far fewer guitar changes (every single song and sometimes during songs!!! really?) and be better.  If you get the chance .. go see Mavis.

Here's Mavis and Holstrom in the NPR studios in Los Angeles.

And a Tweedy and Staples composition,  "Wrote a Song for Everyone".

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