Mercury Rev releasing Bobbie Gentry tribute LP ft. Margo Price, Phoebe Bridgers, Hope Sandoval & more
Psych-pop greats Mercury Rev have recorded an entire tribute album to Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete, the 1968 concept album followup to her chart-topping 1967 debut Ode to Billie Joe. Not a commercial smash like its predecessor, but The Delta Sweete has maintained a lot of respect over the years, and Mercury Rev were joined by a hugely impressive cast of guest vocalists to help bring this tribute album to life: Norah Jones, Margo Price, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucinda Williams, Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Vashti Bunyan, Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Lætitia Sadier (Stereolab), Kaela Sinclair (M83), Beth Orton, Susanne Sundfør, and Carice van Houten. The first song to be released is "Sermon" with Margo Price, and here's what Margo had to say about Bobbie Gentry:
Bobbie Gentry is one of the greatest writers and performers of our time. She was the definition of country funk and southern soul. Her songs were well crafted, literary masterpieces. Bobbie produced so much of her own work that she didn’t get credit for. Her influence on my music has been massive and her influence on the music world in general is earth shattering. Bobbie is iconic, original, eloquent and timeless. She is an elusive wonder in a world of plain spoken, worn out cliques. She has remained a strong voice and an eternal spirit of the delta, wrapped in mystery, yet forever here.
Mercury Rev's core duo of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper produced, performed, and re-arranged the music for the album with Jesse Chandler of Midlake, and as you can hear on the atmospheric, Margo Price-aided take on "Sermon," they have seriously reimagined the album and turned it into something drastically different from the original. This doesn't seem like it's going to be your average covers album. Listen to their version of "Sermon" and compare it to the original below.
The album is called The Delta Sweete Revisited and it comes out February 8 via Partisan/Bella Union.
Meanwhile, Mercury Rev have more Deserter's Songs 20th anniversary shows coming up (they cancelled their Brooklyn show). All dates here. Margo Price is also touring, including Brooklyn on New Year's Eve, the 2019 Tibet House US benefit at Carnegie Hall, and more.
1. Okolona River Bottom Band (feat. Norah Jones)
2. Big Boss Man (feat. Hope Sandoval)
3. Reunion (feat. Rachel Goswell)
4. Parchman Farm (feat. Carice van Houten)
5. Mornin’ Glory (feat. Laetitia Sadier)
6. Sermon (feat. Margo Price)
7. Tobacco Road (feat. Susanne Sundfør)
8. Penduli Pendulum (feat. Vashti Bunyan w/ Kaela Sinclair)
9. Jessye’ Lisabeth (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
10. Refractions (feat. Marissa Nadler)
11. Courtyard (feat. Beth Orton)
12. Ode To Billie Joe (feat. Lucinda Williams) *
*not included on the original ‘The Delta Sweete’