I was living in LA but was in Chicago with SD [Sonia Dada] and had a night off. Richard Brown was doing some work with Mavis Staples and said Pops was looking for material for his next album. This was 1994. So, I went over to RB’s home studio and told him to put the drum machine on a simple R&B beat at tempo 110 and call a guitar player, Glen Rupp. I then just started the bass groove and called out changes. We recorded an arrangement of this simple, but deep groove. It all went pretty fast.
Later, as Richard tells me, when Pops and Mavis came by Richard’s studio to hear ideas, they heard about five things, and Pops said, “Play that one with the bass drag again.” That was mine. Richard came up with the title, I think, and Pops and Mavis wrote the words for what became the title cut of that album “Father Father.” It won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues recording for 1994, and, at the party afterwards, I was introduced to Pops and Mavis. Ha! Later, Jim Tullio produced an album for Mavis, and he and Jim Weider wrote a song, “Have A Little Faith”.
I went to the studio and recorded the bass track, but didn’t see Mavis that night either. It turned out to be the title track for the album, and Mavis won The Blues Foundation’s W.C. Handy Award for Best Soul/Blues Song of the Year 2005 for “Have A Little Faith”, and Best Blues/Soul Album of the Year 2005 for the album. – Erik Scott