Watch Mavis Staples Perform “Take Us Back” on Colbert

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Videos by American Songwriter

After releasing her most recent album, Livin’ On A High Note, last week, Mavis Staples took to the Late Night with Stephen Colbert stage Monday night to perform the record’s opening track, “Take Us Back.” The song—written by New Orleans singer-guitarist Benjamin Booker—builds around a blues-soul riff, which Staples and her guitarist smilingly played off of throughout the performance. Watch Staples’ full performance below.

Earlier in the show, Staples sat down with Colbert to discuss her switch from gospel to soul music and opening for Martin Luther King Jr. with her family-band The Staples Singers.

Staples also spoke of Livin’ On a High Note, which is full of contributions from a variety of notable artists. The M. Ward-produced record features songs by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and indie-songwriter Tune-Yards, alongside Booker and others.

Late Night bandleader Jon Baptiste put his own touch on the record as well, co-writing the song “Tomorrow” with Aloe Blacc. Baptiste joined in on the keys when Staples broke into an impromptu rendition of the song toward the end of her interview with Colbert.

Starting in March, Staples will begin a consistent string of shows that includes appearances at both Bonnaroo and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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