The simmering soul tune boasts a pared-down groove of bass, drums and guitar. Onstage, Staples mixed her resonant vocals with the soft falsetto harmonies of her back-up singers. Staples moved effortlessly through “Build a Bridge” – a protest song about unity – flexing her vocal talents with subtle flourishes. “Look around at our country/ At the people we don’t ever see/ Standing side by side us, divided/ Lonely in the land of the free,” she sang.
Staples released If All I Was Was Black last November. The record followed her 2016 solo LP, Livin’ on a High Note, and also marked her third collaboration with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. The pair previously collaborated on 2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine.
Staples will embark on a North American tour in support of If All I Was Was Black January 24th in Burlington, Vermont.