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These particular threads never detract or distract from Staples’ gifts, but burnish them with present-tense expression. Harper, Tweedy and, to a lesser degree, Ward identify with the core of Staples’ style and substance—rhythm and blues, God and a progressive vision of America—then give these timeless elements full, fresh expression. In this way, Staples’ recent work evokes Johnny Cash’s late-in-life, Rick Rubin-produced efforts. In each case, the younger creative partner honored their legendary counterpart by understanding them, then encouraging them to explore unseen vistas along well-traveled highways.
With the help of her friends, Staples sounds out variations on the great themes of her career: the beauty of blackness, strength in numbers, the truly amazing nature of grace. That Staples still riffs on these ideas with a full heart and robust instrument in 2019 reminds listeners that history—musical or political—isn’t a straight line, but contains many steps forward and more than a few back. Facing progress and its interruption, Staples sounds as sober-minded and hopeful as ever.
Delivers - Vision - Connection - Lines - Paul
The Bible delivers a similar counter-cultural vision for meaningful connection across generational lines. Paul spends significant portions of 1 Timothy and Titus stimulating mutual respect, engagement and service between older and younger Christians. Each has something the other needs; each bears responsibility for the other’s growth and fidelity to Christ.
Thousands of years later, we see the proof of...
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