Staples and Dylan Illustration by John Cuneo
Chris Willman
April 10, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Bob Dylan has recorded few duets in his career, but he’s adding a promising one to the canon. The bard went into an L.A. studio with his touring band in early March to cut a version of the ”Slow Train Coming” oldie ”Gonna Change My Way of Thinking,” joined on lead vocals by his friend of 40-plus years Mavis Staples. The track is destined for a spiritual tribute album that has such artists as the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, and the Fairfield Four largely covering songs from Dylan’s black-gospel-influenced album, 1980’s ”Saved.” As with all things Dylan, lips are tight around the new duet. Exec producer Jeffrey Gaskill, who doesn’t yet have a distributor for the nearly completed project, ”can’t remember” whose idea it was for Dylan to contribute a track; Staples says she was ordered not to talk about it, but sounded thrilled by their long-overdue summit meeting.

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