The plaudits continue for The Girl From Chickasaw County which was voted number 1 re-issue in the 19th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll. An interesting piece was published today on nashvillescene.com looking at Bobbie’s legacy and her retirement in context of the position of female artists in the industry today. This year’s poll was dominated by women whose artistic triumphs, haven’t always been matched by airplay, which still favors male artists despite the critical and commercial success of the women featured.
Mercury Rev, pay tribute to Bobbie on The Delta Sweete Revisited, their song-for-song remake of her masterpiece second album featuring a seriously amazing cast of guest vocalists, including Hope Sandoval, Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Margo Price, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucinda Williams, Vashti Bunyan, Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Beth Orton, Marissa Nadler and more. Norah Jones lends her voice to the album’s opening track, ‘Okolona River Bottom Band’, which you can listen to here. Mercury Rev reimagine the album in their own inimitable style, putting the accent on sweeping strings and touches of gothic psychedelia entirely complimentary to Bobbie’s original vision. The album is out 8th of February on Partisan records.
As the year draws to it’s close the press have compiled their ‘the best of 2018’ lists, and we are pleased to report, that the Bobbie boxset The Girl From Chickasaw County appears prominently on many of them!
The Times – No’ 1
The LA Times – No’ 1
The New York Times – No’ 1
MOJO – No’ 1
19th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll – No’ 1
The Boston Globe – No’ 2
Shindig! – No’ 2
Record Collector – No’ 2
Paste Magazine – No’3
Variety – No’ 3
Billboard – No’ 5
Rolling Stone – No’ 5
Pop Matters – No’ 5
The Sun – No’ 8
Uncut – No’ 13
The latest issue of fRoots Magazine features an excellent feature on Bobbie and the new boxset by music journalist Tim Chipping. In an insightful piece he speaks to boxset compiler/producer Andrew Batt. about the enduring quality of Bobbie’s songwriting. The magazine has Sam Sweeney on the cover and is on sale now.
The Times have published their end of year review, and the Bobbie Gentry boxset The Girl From Chickasaw County has been chosen as their number one boxset of the year, and gets a solid gold 5* out of 5: “One of the most underrated songwriters of the 20th century… This is a fitting tribute to a great talent.”
The latest issue of RnR Magazine features an excellent three page article on Bobbie and the new boxset by music journalist Charles Donovan. In an insightful piece he speaks to boxset compiler/producer Andrew Batt author Tara Murtha and former colleagues and friends including John Cameron who was the Musical Director of Bobbie’s BBC TV series and Don Bradburn who choreographed many of her concert spectaculars. The magazine has Billy F Gibbons on the cover and is on sale now.
Mojo magazine have published their end of year review, and the Bobbie Gentry boxset The Girl From Chickasaw County has been chosen as their number one re-issue of the year, ahead of stiff competition from The Beatles and Bob Dylan – hurrah! Journalist Bob Mehr interviewed boxset compiler/producer Andrew Batt and John Cameron the Musical Director of Bobbie’s BBC TV series for the article. The January issue features Kate Bush on the cover, and is on sale now.
American indie rock band Mercury Rev have announced the release of Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited, available 8th February via Bella Union. The album is a reimagining of Bobbie Gentry’s forgotten masterpiece and features an incredible cast list of guest vocalists including Norah Jones, Hope Sandoval, Beth Orton, Lucinda Williams, Rachel Goswell, Vashti Bunyan, Marissa Nadler, Susanne Sundfør, Phoebe Bridgers, Margo Price, Kaela Sinclair, Carice Van Houten and Laetitia Sadier.
Bobbie Gentry’s 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. From their recording lair in New York’s Catskill Mountains, the founding core of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper with Jesse Chandler (previously in the Texas group Midlake) honour Gentry’s creative triumph with spacious invention and hallucinatory flair. And they are not alone. Gentry’s stories and original resolve are brought to new vocal life and empowerment by a vocal cast of women from across modern rock and its alternative paths: among them, Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval; Laetitia Sadier, formerly of Stereolab; Marissa Nadler; Margo Price, the fiery new country star with a punk-rock heart; and Norway’s Susanne Sundfør, who cuts through “Tobacco Road” with arctic-Nico poise as the Rev’s trademark technicolor orchestration sweeps us towards the penultimate poignant love lorn wash of Beth Orton’s “Courtyard” and into the melancholy mystery of “Ode to Billie Joe” from America’s other grand southern belle Lucinda Williams.
Those fans based in New York will not want to miss Ode to Bobbie Gentry: Celebrating a Living Legend which takes place on 30/10/2018 at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Hosted by Julie Klausner the show features Jill Sobule, Ted Leo, Laura Cantrell, Jean Grae, Tammy Faye Starlite, Eszter Balint, Nath Ann Carrera, Josh Kantor, Phil D’Agostino, & other Special Guests.
It’s sure to be a great night, and Tara Murtha who is producing the event will also be screening some of her rare Vegas footage of Bobbie, making this an unmissable night for fans! Tickets can be purchased here.
RIP Tony Joe White. Tony reigned supreme as one of the true masters of funky bluesy swamp rock. The singer/songwriter/guitarist unexpectedly passed away today aged 75.
Tony directly credited Bobbie’s ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ with turning him into a songwriter. Discussing the genesis of his first composition ‘Polk Salad Annie’ he recalled “I heard ’Ode to Billie Joe’ on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs, and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie I sat down and thought … well I know about polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.”
Tony and Bobbie later became friends and he guested on her 1971 BBC TV series. In one of his last interviews he said that some years later “she wrote me a letter and said, ‘We’ll still get together, maybe, and try to write the song we were talking about. But right now, I’m pulling away from the music business.’ I framed that letter. I still have it in my studio. Hand-wrote.”