Saturday To-Do: Arkansas Delta Family Gospel Fest with Mavis Staples | Rock Candy

Friday, May 27, 2011

Saturday To-Do: Arkansas Delta Family Gospel Fest with Mavis Staples

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 10:06 AM


11 a.m., Cherry Street Pavilion, Helena-West Helena. Free.

While Riverfest is bustling away, Helena-West Helena is inviting people to its historic downtown for the 11th annual Arkansas Delta Family Gospel Fest. The free festival, courtesy of the Delta Cultural Center, is an all-day affair with a long line-up of choirs and gospel soul shouters, including Memphis' Rev. John Wilkins, the acoustic bluesman with a pedigree (his father, Robert Wilkins, recorded the original "Prodigal Son," later recorded by the Rolling Stones for "Beggars Banquet"); The Lee Boys, a funky "sacred steel" (think Robert Randolph) gospel group; and The Holmes Brothers, the near-legendary blues/R&B outfit.

The day closes out with headliner Mavis Staples, the iconic R&B singer, Staple Sister, and just about the best song re-interpreter living. Last year saw her finally win a Grammy for — whodathunkit — Best Americana Album with her Jeff Tweedy collaboration, "You Are Not Alone."

Check it out: "You Are Not Alone" (live on Jools Holland)

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