Mavis Staples and Levon Helm Put Their Soulful Spin on Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
The collaborative album 'Carry Me Home' is due May 20
Published Apr 26, 2022Legendary singer Mavis Staples and the late Levon Helm of the Band have shared a new video for their rendition of Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free."
It's the latest preview of the duo's forthcoming collaborative album Carry Me Home, due May 20 via ANTI-. It was recorded back in 2011 at Helm's studio in Woodstock, NY; the drummer/vocalist died in 2012 at age 71 after living with throat cancer since 1998.
The video features previously unseen footage of Staples and Helm playing live with an impressive crew of backing musicians. Neither of the pair of longtime friends knew that this would be their final performance together, and the clips spliced in the mix of them smiling and laughing together during rehearsals are heartbreakingly wholesome. "He was so full of life and so happy that week," Staples said in a release. "He was the same old Levon I'd always known, just a beautiful spirit inside and out."
Watch their soulful spin on "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" below.
Staples is slated to play Toronto's Massey Hall next month, as well as Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, ON, this summer.