Subscribers to the Flynn Center and/or Lane Series know by now that UK singer-songwriter Billy Bragg bagged his U.S. tour with the awesome Mavis Staples — but not because of visa problems, which have plagued performing arts presenters this season. Nope, it's because his mother is seriously ill. A good son, Billy is staying home, and we wish his mom well.
That news was a bummer for those of us who've been looking forward to folkie-activist Billy Bragg and the gospel legend Mavis Staples together in concert. What a righteous duo! But for my money, I'm really glad it's not Mavis who canceled. No offense to Mr. Bragg, whom I've seen, but I've never had the pleasure of hearing the soulful Mavis Staples live.
She was prepared to go it alone. That is, Mavis and the Spirit That Moves Her.
Today, though, the Flynn sent out a pleasantly surprising announcement: Vermont's own famous singer-songwriter, Neko Case (pictured above), is going to perform with Mavis. Double awesome.
"This eases the blow of the cancellation," wrote the Flynn's marketing director Leigh Chandler in an email. Amen to that. Hallelujah, too.
Photo of Neko Case by Jason Creps
Photo of Mavis Staples courtesy of Flynn Center