Nov 152011

Every year, city of Melbourne, Australia puts on the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The event combines local and international artists of all sorts in a two-week program of events, exhibitions, and concerts. A few weeks ago, the festival wound up with an all-star protest concert titled Notes from the Hard Road and Beyond. It featured Joss Stone, Mavis Staples, and local favorite Paul Dempsey covering songs of hope and struggle. The whole thing was recorded by national station STVDIO for broadcast next Friday, but you can watch clips now.

First, Stone unleashes her soul belting on a cover of the Impressions’ classic “People Get Ready.” Dempsey then joins her for a tender duet through Hunters & Collectors’ Australian anthem “Throw Your Arms Around Me.” Finally, Staples reprises the classic “Freedom Highway” she first sang in the ‘60s with the Staple Singers. The Black Arm Band, a collection of Indigenous musicians, backed throughout. Watch video of all three performances below. For all you down under, the full concert debuts on STVDIO on November 25th.

Joss Stone – People Get Ready (The Impressions cover)

Joss Stone and Paul Dempsey – Throw Your Arms Around Me (Hunters & Collectors cover)

Mavis Staples – Freedom Highway (The Staples Singers cover)

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