|Mercury Rev have shared the opening track from ‘The Delta Sweete Revisited’ – their track-by-track resurrection of Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 long-overlooked masterwork, ‘The Delta Sweete.’ Norah Jones provides vocals for a swelling, psychedelic jazz version of “Okolona River Bottom Band,” listen now (via Nylon). |
Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donohue says of the track:
While sipping concoctions from a coffee cup labeled ‘Near Enough,’ a brilliant mind once theorized that in any large enough system, even the most improbable event will occur. So, like bats in the moonlight, we pinged our sound out there and waited to see what bounced back...and then, much to our surprise what came back was Norah Jones singing the daylights out of our lil' pocket fantasia version of Bobbie Gentry’s “Okolona River Bottom Band.” Theorem proved.
‘The Delta Sweet Revisited’ is out February 8th via Partisan Records/Bella Union. In addition to Sandoval, Mercury Rev are backed on vocals by an unmatched roster of women across a broad range of genres – Norah Jones, Margo Price, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucinda Williams, Vashti Bunyan, Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Lætitia Sadier (Stereolab), Kaela Sinclair (M83) + more. Price’s take on ‘Delta Sweete’ deep cut “Sermon” was picked up everywhere from the NY Times, NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, SPIN, Stereogum + more. Listen here.
Originally released at the height of Gentry’s Beatles-eclipsing superstardom following her #1 smash “Ode To Billie Joe,” ‘The Delta Sweete’ is an unrestrained statement of empowerment that dips into everything from swamp-rock, R&B-style horns, and orchestral arrangements. ‘The Delta Sweete Revisited’ is Mercury Rev's committed and affectionate resurrection of an album that anticipated by three decades their own pivotal expedition through transcendental America, 1998's ‘Deserter's Songs.’ Not unlike ‘The Delta Sweete,’ that record merged jazz, folk, and rock with Disney soundtrack fantasia, and heralded Mercury Rev’s rebirth as purveyors of a unique brand of the popular American songbook.
David Fricke of Rolling Stone wrote the album’s liner notes, in which he calls the original ‘Delta Sweete’ “one of the greatest albums you have never heard.” Read that in full HERE.