In February, Mercury Rev released The Delta Sweete Revisited, a reimagining of Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 album The Delta Sweete featuring guest vocals from artists like Norah Jones, Margo Price, Lucinda Williams and others. Months after that initial release, the band has shared another track from those sessions — Erika Wennerstrom’s take on Gentry’s “Louisiana Man.”
Wennerstrom, known for her work with rock band Heartless Bastards, gives the song a haunting edge with her vocal, eschewing the jaunty, almost playful performance of the original recording. Mercury Rev’s backing instrumentation follows suit by slowing the pace, with its lush, cinematic arrangement giving the track a dramatic heft.
“I grew up listening to Bobbie Gentry,” Wennerstrom says. “I realized while working on this project just how much she has influenced the way I developed my voice and songwriting over the years. Whenever ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ came on the radio my mom and I would sing every word. I’ve been a big fan of Mercury Rev for a long time as well. I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of this project.”
Listen to “Louisiana Man” below.