Mercury Rev - Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited Vinyl LP
Mercury Rev Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited Vinyl LP
Mercury Rev's Tribute To Bobbie Gentry's 1968 Gem Featuring Hope Sandoval, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, Laetitia Sadier, Phoebe Bridgers, Margo Price, Rachel Goswell, Beth Orton, Marissa Nadler, Vashti Bunyan, Kaela Sinclair, Susanne Sundfør & Carice van Houten!
It slipped out of a Mississippi of hot biscuits, genteel table manners and working-class sense, suddenly overturned by a grave sinning and suicide. Carried on an evening breeze of strings and a supple, foreboding voice like sensually charged breath, Ode to Bilie Joe – Bobbie Gentry's 1967 debut as a singer-songwriter and a No. 1 single in the late Summer of Love – was the most psychedelic record of that year not from San Francisco or London, as if Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Brian Wilson had conspired to make a country-rock Pet Sounds. Except Gentry, just 23 when she wrote the song, got there first, in miniature. Gentry's hit was a revolutionary act, a quietly thorough feminism in vision, deed and success amid the strict, paternal order of the country-music industry.
And it was her license to thrill again. In October, 1967, while "Billie Joe" was still in the Top Five, Gentry began recording The Delta Sweete, a connected set of a dozen songs that extended the narrative dynamics of that single with personal reflection and set her folk-siren charisma in a richer frame of dream-state orchestration, swamp-rock guitars and big-city-R&B horns.
In her 8 original songs, Gentry drew from her childhood and church life on her grandparents' farm in Chickasaw County, MS: the girl-ish craving for a beautiful dress in "Reunion"; the rise-and-shine of "Mornin' Glory"; the stern Sunday lessons in "Sermon," based on a traditional hymn also known as "Run On." The covers were boldly chosen: Mose Allison's chain-gang blues "Parchman Farm"; "Tobacco Road"'s litany of trial; the Cajun pride in Doug Kershaw's "Louisiana Man". Gentry also turned them to new purpose and even gender. "Gonna get myself a man, one gonna treat me right," she sang in Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man" with heated assurance.
But The Delta Sweete – released in March, 1968, only three months after Dylan's John Wesley Harding and right as the Byrds came to Nashville to cut Sweetheart of the Rodeo – was too soon in its precedence. Gentry's LP, the first country-rock opera, was ignored on arrival, not even cracking Billboard's Top 100. It was as if Billie Joe had risen out of the Tallahatchie River and thrown that record off the bridge instead.
Mercury Rev Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited Track Listing:
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 with Kaela Sinclair)
9. Jesseye ‘Lizabeth (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
10. Refractions (feat. Marissa Nadler)
11. Courtyard (feat. Beth Orton)
12. Ode to Billie Joe (feat. Lucinda Williams)
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