MAVIS presented by Ashley Beedle & Darren Morris
Ashley Beedle’s MAVIS project was originally sparked three years ago when he and musical partner Darren Morris had an evening listening to Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers. The pair were so blown away, this led them to create an instrumental which became the inspiration for the MAVIS album.
To Ashley, Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers have always been hugely iconic. ”They’re the glue in our DNA”, says Ashley, ”Not only was their recorded work amazing but their involvement in the Civil Rights movement really meant something to me.”
Over the last year this instrumental has engaged a plethora of the globe’s vocal talent, whom have contributed their own stories and tales from the heart, following the inspirational Mavis trail, steered by Ashley and Darren. Revered artists such as Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, Candi Staton, Ed Harcourt, Edwyn Collins, Cerys Matthews and Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell have thrown themselves heart and soul into the MAVIS mix, paving the way for a palette of fresh talent such as Crazy P’s Danielle Moore, John Turrell of Smoove & Turrell, Disa from Reykjavik and Dear Reader’s Cherilyn MacNeil from South Africa. The vocal talent appearing on MAVIS is evocative, aspirational, inspirational and honest.
On listening to the album, one can hear how the project grew and gained musical form from the input of collaborators Kurt Wagner, Disa and Edwyn Collins, whose individual tracks sweep across a similar landscape.
MAVIS is a project that prides itself in being steeped in rich musical history, which will not only reach out to and seduce a more mature music-loving audience, but will also tantalise the eclectic taste buds of younger generation of fans ‚Äì those who would naturally gravitate towards Ashley’s dance music world. Ashley, Darren and this team of talented artists have steered this music of classic heritage into a contemporary context, the result being a modern and timeless musical adventure which still maintains the messages and inspirations of the original piece.
‚ÄòListen. Dreaming of Mavis, some singers, some kindred spirits, lovingly selected, having never met, each other or her, passing on their feelings, from song to song, meeting place to meeting place, finding their Mavis, loving her in the imagination, praising Mavis, the way her hands moved, how she breathed, the rebellious wisdom, the faith, sorrow and trust, the inner mystery, gracing Mavis, the city she built, the mountains she moved, the beautiful and tough songs she sung, out of heavy shadows and great light, ruins and fragments, mouth and nerve.’ Paul Morley 2009
All Hail Mavis.