I’ve seen some good shows this last month. Bob Dylan was as good as I’ve seen him the last couple of years and Wilco channeled Television (the band) at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium which is home to the best acoustics of any venue I’ve been to. But it was Mavis Staples playing a benefit at the Michigan Theater that really stands out. She gave the finest vocal performance I’ve had the pleasure of attending in as long as I can remember. And they were freedom songs. She had more energy at seventy than most musicians a third her age and sang every word as if she meant it, because she did. When any kind of authenticity in our culture is undermined by commodification the real stands out more starkly. If Mavis comes to your town see her. It was as close to church as the Rustbelt will allow himself and I’m still humming the hymns. Above is Mavis and her band testifying with Down in Mississippi.