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Mercury Rev's 'The Delta Sweete Revisited' Is A Timely Reimagining of Bobbie Gentry's Masterwork

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MERCURY REV
The Delta Sweete Revisited
(Partisan Records/BellaUnion)

In 1967, Bobbie Gentry released her epic “Ode To Billy Joe,” and quickly became a star. Gentry’s follow-up album, 1968’s The Delta Sweete, was a sophisticated, swampy, country-rock opera about life in the Deep South. Now, 50 years later, indie band Mercury Rev and an all-star cast of musicians has resurrected the often-overlooked collection. There are several standout vocal performances here, including Hope Sandoval’s “Big Boss Man,” Lætitia Sadier’s “Mornin’ Glory,” Marissa Nadler’s “Refractions,” Norah Jones’ “Okolona River Bottom Band,” Margo Price’s “Sermon,” and Beth Orton’s “Courtyard.” A bonus track features Lucinda Williams on Gentry’s aforementioned first hit. This is a great reimagining of a legendary artist’s forgotten masterwork. (4/5)

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By Michael Levine

 

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

 

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