In Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, the classic 1978 concert movie documenting what was supposed to be the Band’s final concert, Mavis Staples and her old group the Staples Singers backed the Band up on what might’ve been the definitive version of “The Weight.” And now Staples is getting her own live-concert movie (or TV special, anyway), and she’s got her own all-star version of “The Weight.”
As Pitchfork points out, Staples was the subject of a huge Chicago tribute concert in 2014. That show is about to air on AXS, and it’ll also become a CD/DVD set called Mavis Staples: I’ll Take You There — An All-Star Concert Celebration in June. For the big finale, Staples sang “The Weight” with a lineup of guests that included Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer, Eric Church, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Gregg Allmann, and a whole lot of others. Watch that performance, as well as the original one from The Last Waltz below.
Mavis Staples: I’ll Take You There — An All-Star Concert Celebration is out 6/2 on Blackbird Presents Records.