Mercury Rev and Norah Jones share “Okolona River Bottom Band”
Mercury Rev have shared the opening track from The Delta Sweete Revisited – their track-by-track resurrection of Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 overlooked masterwork ‘The Delta Sweete.’ Norah Jones provides vocals for a swelling, psychedelic jazz version of “Okolona River Bottom Band.” Listen below (or via Nylon)…
Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue says of the track: “While sipping concoctions from a coffee cup labeled ‘Near Enough,’ a brilliant mind once theorised 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 Sweete Revisited is out 8th February via Bella Union (Partisan Records in the US). In addition to Norah Jones, Mercury Rev are backed on vocals by an unmatched roster of women across a range of genres: Norah Jones, Margo Price, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucinda Williams, Vashti Bunyan, Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Susanne Sundfør, Lætitia Sadier (Stereolab), Marissa Nadler, Kaela Sinclair (M83) and more.
Originally released at the height of Gentry’s 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.