Here’s a clip of country-pop songwriter Eddie Rabbitt and gospel-soul first lady Mavis Staples with a version of “Suspicious Minds”, bringing together at least three disparate elements of music I love – soul, country-without-hats, and Elvis – yet in very strange packaging. This is seemingly taken from an Elvis Presley tribute show, and Rabbitt starts the clip with his song ‘Kentucky Rain’, a hit song he wrote for Elvis in 1970. And then (oddly) Mavis joins him from the middle-eight of “Suspicious Minds”. Still, any excuse to hear Mavis sing…
I suppose in some ways it’s not entirely strange to see these two together, although I still think this is a great example of unexpected musical collaborations. Still, Mavis’ solo material often bordered on country (‘A House is Not A Home‘), and Rabbitt’s often bordered on smooth R&B (‘Suspicions‘). And because this is an Elvis tribute, I suppose the idea was to show just how blurry the lines are.
Ultimately, this kind of an odd musical pairing reveals that classifying music into genres shouldn’t be the be all and end all of understanding where the music actually comes from.