Candi Staton Has the Power

Gospel, soul and disco legend Candi Staton’s latest album Unstoppable, out since Aug. 24 via Beracah/Thirty Tigers, offers fans of her versions of “Stand By Your Man,” “Suspicious Minds” and other standards a chance to hear the Atlanta-based singer’s takes on Patti Smith and Nick Lowe.

It’s an indie dude working with a veteran singer scenario, with former Lambchop member Mark Nevers sitting in the producer’s chair. The pair worked together on 2006’s His Hands.

There are eight tracks beyond the before-mentioned covers, but rock fans and record collectors will likely come – and stay awhile – to savor these genre-bending additions to the singer’s repertoire.

Smith’s “People Have the Power,” a cut off 1988’s Dream of Life, gets a fresh lease as straight-up gospel-funk. While the original suffers from the trappings of ’80s production trends, Staton’s version revisits the less flawed sounds of ’70s dance music.

Under the watch of the former Mrs. Clarence Carter and Otis Nixon – “Patches” and “The Catch”! – the Nick Lowe-penned Elvis Costello classic “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” becomes a swirling Southern blend of blues and gospel influences.