The Staves perform in the Forum at The Current

The Staves perform the song 'Outlaw' in the Forum at MPR, a performance recorded before a live audience on 89.3 The Current. (MPR/Nate Ryan)
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The Staves perform in the Forum (full session + interview)
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  • The Staves perform in the Forum (full session + interview) 32:13
  • The Staves - Outlaw (live in the Forum at The Current) 03:16
  • The Staves - Sleeping in a Car (live in the Forum at The Current) 04:07
  • The Staves - Roses (live in the Forum at The Current) 04:15
  • The Staves - Damn It All (live in the Forum at The Current) 06:26

The Staves may be from Watford, England, but they've spent a lot of time in and around Eau Claire, Wis., lately. "I think that we like the vibe of the people — and Minnesota as well — everyone is really solid and nice, which is maybe a cliché, I don't know, but it's literally true in my experience," Jessica Staveley-Taylor says. "But we definitely don't fit in because as soon as we start speaking, people are like, 'Where are you from and what are you doing here?'"

The short answer is, "Working hard." The Staves — a trio comprising sisters Jessica, Emily and Camilla Staveley-Taylor — have been spending a lot of time in the middle of North America, most recently at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, as well as at Justin Vernon's April Base studio in western Wisconsin. Amid those activities, the Staves, along with Wisconsinite drummer Dave Power, took time to perform a set of songs in the Forum at Minnesota Public Radio and to chat with The Current's Bill DeVille.

The Staves' most recent EP is a three-song release, Sleeping in a Car, produced by Vernon and recorded at April Base. "Working with Justin's great," Camilla says. "For one, he's incredibly talented, so has great ideas. Almost more than that, he has a very pure love of music, and I think that's mirrored in how he works with people and how he collaborates with people. There's no ego there. It's about him being passionate about wanting you to get the most out of this experience."

The title track, "Sleeping in a Car," was informed by the Staves' time spent away from home. Camilla insists the song is not about a musician bemoaning a life on the road, but more about the way a music career affects one's life and perceptions. "We're incredibly privileged, really, to do what we do and we love it," she says. "It's just a really strange life choice that we didn't realize we were making when we just followed making music. But then it does become your way of life and you end up not having the things that sane people have around them to keep sane. … sometimes you feel like you've lost your sense of self a bit, and it's kind of weird."

Perhaps setting up a home from home in Wisconsin can help them feel more grounded. They'll be back in that community in mid-August, when they'll perform once again at the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. Thinking back to last year's performance at Eaux Claires, Camilla says, "It was a really nice surprise for us playing that festival because we weren't' really sure people had heard of us in that neck of the woods, really, or if we'd have any sort of audience there watching us, and it was a really lovely turnout. That festival in general was just very, very fun."

Use the audio player above to hear more from the Staves, including the story of how the Staveley-Taylors began performing together, how their parents influenced their music, and what their first experience was like taking part in the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Songs Performed


"Outlaw"
"Sleeping in a Car"
"Roses"
"Damn It All"

The first three songs are from the Staves' 2016 EP, Sleeping in a Car; "Damn It All" is from the Staves' 2014 album, If I Was; both releases are available on Nonesuch Records.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark, Erik Stromstad, Andrew Broussard and Brandon Eich
Visuals by Nate Ryan and Leah Garaas
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Related Stories

  • The Staves perform in The Current studio Composed of sisters Emily, Camilla and Jess Staveley-Taylor, folk-rock trio the Staves passed through the Twin Cities on their way to perform at the Eaux Claires Music and Art Festival in Wisconsin. Their connection to that area runs deep; their latest album, 'If I Was', was produced by Justin Vernon and recorded at his April Base studio. 'It was a really, really magic first trip out there,' Jess Staveley-Taylor says. Check out the full session.
  • Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival (Events Calendar) Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival is grateful to announce it will return next Aug. 12 and 13, 2016 to where it all began: the beautiful, 40-acre Foster Farms, just outside of Eau Claire, WI. The hit two-day festival curated by Eau Claire native and Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner of The National drew a crowd of over 20,000 festivalgoers per day in its inaugural year.

13 Photos

  • The Staves - Forum - 2
    Mics ready for the Staves' performance in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 3
    Camilla Staveley-Taylor tunes her guitar ahead of the Staves' performance in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 4
    Emily Staveley-Taylor of the Staves performs in the Forum. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 5
    Camilla Staveley-Taylor of the Staves performs in the Forum. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 6
    The Staves perform in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 7
    Drummer Dave Power performs with the Staves in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 8
    Emily Staveley-Taylor performs in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 9
    The Staves perform in the MPR Forum. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 10
    Camilla Staveley-Taylor plays ukulele and Jessica Staveley-Taylor plays guitar as the Staves perform in the Forum at Minnesota Public Radio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 11
    Jessica Staveley-Taylor of the Staves performing in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 12
    The Staves (left to right: Emily, Camilla and Jessica Staveley-Taylor, Dave Power) perform in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 13
    Camilla Staveley-Taylor plays ukulele as the Staves perform in the MPR Forum. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • The Staves - Forum - 14
    Emily Staveley-Taylor in the Forum at MPR before the Staves' performance. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

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