Rolling Stone (p.176) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Staples shows sheer vocal authority, and she can still deliver a spine-chilling 'amen.'"Uncut (p.140) - 3 stars out of 5 -"[A] minor gem. A good band and decent songs bring out the best in her still-smouldering voice."Down Beat (p.76) - 4.5 stars out of 5 - "The production is fresh throughout and Staples' throaty vocals remain unparalleled."Living Blues (pp.38-9) - "[S]he warns, cajoles, encourages, and challenges us in a voice both rich with wisdom and redolent with the light of faith..."Mojo (Publisher) (p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[I]ts dozen mostly self-penned tracks comprise a solid set that combines the uplift of Staples' Stax-era soul with flashes of the searching, spooky gospel of the group's Vee-Jay years. Worth the wait."
Rolling Stone (p.116) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007".Q (p.129) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n album that aims to rekindle the spirit of the '60s civil rights movement....Persuasive..."Down Beat (p.53) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Her singing has never lost the crazy potency that it had when she was younger, and it's still as beautiful and haunting as ever on this new CD."Dirty Linen (p.56) - "These are songs of hope and protest....The power, strength, and heartfelt sincerity in the delivery drives the disc home."Living Blues (p.43) - "WE'LL NEVER TURN BACK features Staples applying her throaty, emotive contralto to a program that includes spirituals..."No Depression (pp.78-79) - "In purely musical effect, the power, passion and conviction that permeate this project cannot be denied. Nor resisted."Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n assemblage of liberation cries, as passionate and relevant today as then..."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "An inspired documentary....[It] offers an uplifting, heartbreaking and cautionary tale."Rolling Stone
Q (Magazine) (p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Mavis Staples's grittily sensual voice, lyrics that reflected the concerns of black America and the ace Muscle Shoals rhythms section made a potent team..."
Entertainment Weekly (4/04/03, p.101) - "...This tribute lets us hear these spirituals the way their writer probably heard 'em in his head..." - Rating: A-Uncut (6/03, p.138) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...The real reason you're likely to want this collection is that Dylan himself guests with Mavis Staples on a gruff-but-glorious re-reading of 1979's 'Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking'..."Mojo (Publisher) (5/03, pp.96-7) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...The disc reveals Dylan to be as strong a gospel writer as he is folk balladeer..."
Billboard (p.28) - "Conjuring soul sisters Aretha Franklin, Betty Wright, Mavis Staples and Millie Jackson, James puts her unique emotional stamp on the churchy 'The Fact Is,' the smoky groove 'Party All Night' and the emphatic 'Tell Me You Love Me.'"
Dirty Linen (pp.58-59) - "Muldaur's voice has taken on a road-weary huskiness that suits the music well, reminiscent of the gospel strains of Mavis Staples, that lend an authority missing in her previous work."Record Collector (magazine) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "A grower, the album plugs into the energy of her earlier works and is a startling artistic left turn for Muldaur."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.120) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Ann Peebles' gospel tones seep through a remarkably faithful cover of Bob Dylan's 'Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You'..."
Dirty Linen (p.54) - "Her melodious growl is sustained and effective and rich, with a focused purpose remaining from past struggles, but that is clearly intact and directed to the future."Billboard (p.77) - "At 69, Staples' power-train voice is close to rugged perfection throughout, and she's wonderfully fired up."Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Mavis delivers the civil rights hymnbook with passion and poignancy, from a rousing rendition of the traditional spiritual 'Wade In The Water' through an animated 'For What It's Worth' to a heartfelt 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken.'"Clash (magazine) (p.122) - "A genuine soul music legend, Mavis Staples proves she is still a force to be reckoned with on this new live album."
Uncut (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 - "This is a banquet of bluesiana; a lifetime of sounds. If you love New Orleans music, he'll take you there. Magnificent."JazzTimes (p.85) - "Remarkably, the pied piper of Crescent City boosterism sound younger and more fully alive on this 18-track collection than he did some three-and-a-half decades ago..."Dirty Linen (p.60) - "N'AWLINZ closes with 'I'm Going Home'....Its tragic beauty makes for a powerful closer..."Living Blues (p.46) - "N'AWLINZ is an unabashed tribute to Rebennack's New Orleans roots, but tackles a much wider range of the city's sounds....There's plenty to enjoy and much to recommend."Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[This] finds the Doctor firing on all cylinders with a rarified tenderness that adds up to his best album in years."
Q (10/03, p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The artists are an inspired mix of rootsy and creative, each bringing something different and imaginative..." Living Blues (11/03, p.61) - "...This tribute album is a fine homage to the Man In Black..."
"[T]his is gospel Vegas-style..." Uncut
Entertainment Weekly (12/19/03, p.74) - "...[The Blind Boys and their guests join] players like John Medeski [in] turning up the spiritual-blues simmer..." - RAting: A-Dirty Linen (p.49) - "[T]his concert spans the seasons, much like the Blind Boys span the years and bridge the generations. There's a stunning version of 'Amazing Grace'..."Mojo (Publisher) (1/04, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[H]ere the Blind Boys take on standards such as 'White Christmas' and 'O Come All Ye Faithful' and fashion them into stirring soul sermons."
Dirty Linen (p.88) - "[With] a modern gospel sound from one of the most soul-filled voices in contemporary country, Jon Randall..."
Rolling Stone (p.78) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[The album] deftly bridges the two eras."Uncut (p.116) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]his Robbie Fulks-produced salute expertly summons Paycheck's soulful heartache."
"The music's sensational..." Entertainment Weekly "As the reigning master of the idiom, Mr. King sings in a rich, barking cry and still plays single-note riffs that have the sting of bitter tears."New York Times "[O]ne terrific concert film....If you ever loved this kind of music, LIGHTNING will bring the reasons back. If you haven't, you'll likely wonder where this has been all your life."Los Angeles Times "[T]his lavish all-star blues concert integrates old footage of Son House and Muddy Waters." Rolling Stone "The backstage and archival footage is seamlessly interwoven with the inspired live performances..."Chicago Sun-Times
Rolling Stone (p.70) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he icons and belters on this two-CD party include guitar lords like Albert Collins, Son Seals and Luther Allison; vocal volcanoes Koko Taylor and the Holmes Brothers; and the modern-Delta stylist Corey Harris."Living Blues (p.66) - "Perhaps one of the Alligator's greatest triumphs, and undoubtedly one of its paramount voices, was the late Koko Taylor. The Queen of the Blues recorded with the label for 35 years..."Billboard (p.40) - "[A] sampler that touches on great moments and key acts....Sure to send listeners deeper into the individual artists' catalogs."Record Collector (magazine) (p.103) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] healthy doses of blues-infused rockabilly, front porch soul, gospel, rock, ballads, New Orleans R&B, country and zydeco."
Entertainment Weekly (12/1/00, p.98) - "...A well-picked assortment....No soul-music fan should deny himself this..." - Rating: B+Living Blues (1-2/01, p.83) - "...An overview of the Memphis label's hitmaking activities from beginning to end..."Mojo (Publisher) (12/00, p.96) - "...Sublime soul music....as familiar as favorite old shoes, and as funky..."
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Staples' voice is a rich, liquid wonder, and Tweedy's production -- thick with guitar tremolo -- is faithful to her funk and gospel work with the Staples Singers."Entertainment Weekly (p.139) - "[S]tellar...with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy producing 71-year-old gospel great Staples." -- Grade: A-CMJ - "Staples' voice has aged remarkably well, and the rasps and crackles come in all the right places..."Living Blues (p.40) - "Mavis applies her throaty contralto with consummate passion to a mix of spiritual and secular material that includes a hauntingly harmonized a cappella reading of 'Wonderful Savior'..."Billboard (p.40) - "The standout is Staples' tear-stained take of Randy Newman's 'Losing You.' She wrings every bit of emotion out of the song without seemingly batting an eye."Mojo (Publisher) (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Little Milton's gutsy soul'n'blues 'We're Gonna Make It' is delivered unequivocally as a hymnal to universal peace; Mavis's vocal performance, intense, deep, almost a growl at times, and quite simply jaw-dropping."Mojo (Publisher) (p.56) - Ranked #12 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2010" -- "The results: exciting, impassioned, essential."Pitchfork (Website) - "'You Are Not Alone, as its title suggests, intends to be a salve in hard times, and Staples rallies her most sympathetic delivery, as if comforting listeners individually."Record Collector (magazine) (p.94) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'You Don't Knock' is a deft gospel number that sets things off well with an uplifting call-and-response passage."Uncut (magazine) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The stripped-down, Muscle Shoals-style arrangements give Mavis space to do her thing, and the song choices are spot-on..."