Mavis Staples

Proof that some acts do retain their flavor with age, soul matriarch Mavis Staples is a force to be reckoned with outside the shadow of the Staple Singers. These days, in addition to the power of her rich, trademark rasp, Staples carries herself with a wise, seen-it-all air and sense of humor that givers her present-day stage show the charm of a visit with your favorite grandparent-aged relative. Besides the uncanny feeling that you’re learning something just from being in the room, you can feel the love – and you feel embarrassed that your elder is sharper than you to boot. On her 2007 album We’ll Never Turn Back, Staples revisited the civil-rights consciousness that she, Pops Staples, and her sisters addressed in the ‘60s, but her verve is perhaps best evinced by onstage quips like “someday, Beyoncé’s gonna look like Mavis, mm-hm.” SABY REYES-KULKARNI

Thu., March 4, 9 p.m., 2010

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