In Praise Of: Bobbie Gentry, "The Delta Sweete"

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A great, great record that gives yr ears a gumbo of country and blues. Little pinches of psychedelia in the swirling Nashville string arrangements and a touch of soul in the bleary horns. "Courtyard" maximizes the word-to-impact ratio, giving you a world of ache in a handful of couplets: an absolutely ace rock bottom dream-gone-wrong tune.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 15 April 2007 09:25 (twelve years ago) link

love the way it all flows together, 'courtyard' is a great way to end.

zappi, Sunday, 15 April 2007 09:59 (twelve years ago) link

five years pass...

This is such a strong album. The same year's Local Gentry is more lightweight - three Beatles covers is a bit much - but the original character studies are brilliant. A shame that her albums don't get more attention.

Get wolves (DL), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 10:25 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...
Gentry’s “lost” jazz album!!

velko, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 06:59 (one year ago) link

wow, i thought there was no photo of her since the 80s, but this surfaced and it does look like her, an elegant older woman

velko, Saturday, 11 August 2018 06:42 (one year ago) link

yeah, I saw that photo in this Medium piece, which gives a few more details (though it looks like both sources got the date wrong -- the EXIF data says it was taken in 2007):

In perhaps her most recent image taken in 2000, Bobbie Gentry is seen with half-brother Robert Streeter, who also served as the artist’s touring guitarist and production manager at the Las Vegas Desert Inn from 1972 thru 1974. Gentry purchased the Los Angeles home from Elvis’s only child Lisa Marie Presley but has since sold it.

In the late ’90s Gentry seemed poised to resume her recording career. Out of the blue, she called Haskell and asked, “‘Jimmie, I’d like you to do a take down on a tune.’ I said, ‘Bobbie, I’m working on an album and a movie simultaneously. I can’t do it now.’

ilxor-com-dog-meat-drawer-7-840-x-600.jpg (unregistered), Saturday, 11 August 2018 14:43 (one year ago) link

The Cocaine and Rhinestones episode last year did a lot to make me realize how great she was

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 11 August 2018 16:37 (one year ago) link

I didn’t realize that she’s married to Jim Stafford... author & TV writer Nell Scovell has recently discussed a “#MeToo” experience with that guy. (Not that that reflects upon Gentry, of course)

empire bro-lesque (morrisp), Saturday, 11 August 2018 17:35 (one year ago) link

Not currently married to him, I thought.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 11 August 2018 18:19 (one year ago) link

Ah, you’re right — Wikipedia says they were only married a year! I must have misread that detail in the Medium piece.

empire bro-lesque (morrisp), Saturday, 11 August 2018 18:25 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

A tribute album is coming out in February – Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited, recorded by Mercury Rev with female vocalists including Hope Sandoval (whose song is below). It'll also feature "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" [Beth Orton and Carice van Houten].

Two tracks are out so far:



sbahnhof, Tuesday, 1 January 2019 08:20 (one year ago) link

Also, a Bobbie G. box set was released this (sorry, last) year:

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Wednesday, 2 January 2019 02:45 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

Earlier this year, psych-pop greats Mercury Rev released “The Delta Sweete Revisited” — a remake of singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 album “The Delta Sweete.” The original was a release that was lamentably overlooked, coming as it did on the heels of Gentry’s mega-hit “Ode to Billie Joe” and owing to the fact it was essentially a concept album about life in the Deep South.

“Bobbie Gentry’s ‘The Delta Sweete’ is an ascending monument of sound and fury that strides, strolls, soars and stretches thru the Southern American mystique of elusion,” Mercury Rev’s Sean Mackowiak (aka Grasshopper) says of the album.

For the remake, Mercury Rev enlisted different singers on each of the album’s 12 tracks. But when they take the project on tour this fall — including an October date in Los Angeles — British singer-songwriter Beth Orton (who performs “Courtyard” on the album) will front the band.

“Bobbie Gentry is the master at being able to sing a story from all directions at once,” Orton says. “Stories of hard-won, old-world sinister sweetness with a subtlety and precision no other songwriter has. When Mercury Rev asked me to come and sing the entire record with them live, I had to take a breath before I dove straight in. This is a dream collaboration. No one can touch what Bobbie Gentry is capable of unearthing, but on their version of ‘The Delta Sweete,’ Mercury Rev have grown Bobbie’s music into a psychedelic cathedral of sound, and to be a part of making that come to life in a live setting is awesome and I’m honored to be involved.”

Mark G, Friday, 6 September 2019 10:45 (five months ago) link

So, are they bringing this to the UK, and/or will this be available as download/stream/DVD or what?

Mark G, Friday, 6 September 2019 10:46 (five months ago) link

dunno but they're doing this at hardly strictly bluegrass in SF in October.

akm, Sunday, 8 September 2019 16:47 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

I do like that this happened..

Driving back cross country...

— grasshopper (@mercuryrevvd) October 11, 2019

Mark G, Friday, 11 October 2019 21:27 (four months ago) link

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