Mavis Staples won’t say which one it is, but there’s a particular note on a song from her new album that didn’t come to her naturally. It’s on “Jesus Wept,” and Staples thought it should go one way, but producer Jeff Tweedy had something else in mind.
“He’d say, ‘Mavis, you keep going down with that note, but I want you to take it up,’” Staples says recently from her home in Chicago. “So we’d do it again, and I would keep going down with it. Tweedy would say, ‘Mavis, you’ve got to take it up,’ but I resisted until finally we were holding up the album. I finally did it his way, and you know what? He was right.”