In the December 19 of 2000, the world lost one of its greatest musical talents when Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples was called home at the ripe old age of 85. A man who started out the child of simple cotton farmers became the leader of a family band that brought gospel and the blues to the world with such unforgettable standards as ‘Respect Yourself’ and ‘I’ll Take You There’. As he wound down a highly successful solo career, Pops embarked on what would be his final album back in 1999. But the hand of death took him away before he could complete the project. Happily, some quality studio recordings had been made of Pops and his guitar before his appointment with fate. It is these recordings that his daughter Mavis is shoehorning into a posthumous album with the help of long-time Staples producer Jeff Tweedy.
‘Somebody Was Watching’ is the first single off that album whose title, we now learn, is ‘Don’t Lose This’. The song follows a typically blues road with Pops telling the story of a man who once fell on hard times but is now joyfully looking back at his trials, acknowledging: “…somebody was watching over me.” A timely inspirational message delivered with charming simplicity and earnestness. Mavis offers accomplished backing on the hook and Tweedy’s work allows us to enjoy this beautiful father-daughter collaboration in all its glory.
Now enjoy this taster of the final work of the man and the legend, Pops Staples.
Miami Based, Internationally Known