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The Revivalists On 'Take Good Care' & How New Orleans Music "Seeps Into Your Bones"
Eight-piece soul rockers The Revivalists went big for their fourth full-length album, last year's Take Good Care, enlisting the help of a trio of producers to let their New Orleans sound shine. The group recorded in Nashville and the Big Easy with Dave Cobb [Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton], Andrew Dawson [Kanye West, Fun., Sleigh Bells] and Dave Bassett [Elle King, Vance Joy], pulling from a collection of over 100 new songs. The resulting album, 2018's Take Good Care, brough together their myriad influences and took the band to new heights.
"You start working with different producers and it's nice having another mindset in there where they can completely flip the idea of what you had for a song and then reinvigorate it and put new life into it," bassist George Gekas told us backstage at Lollapalooza 2019. "Like 'Hate to Love You,' where when we recorded the first time to the second time, there's no way we could have imagined the song would have gone that way, but you have guidance with other people to help you through the whole process."
Corralling that much talent and input into one coherent album couldn not have been easy, but the band kept things organic, feeling out which songs were the best fit for which sessions.
"It was interesting because we whittled the demos down to about 30 and then we sent them to the producers and we wanted them to listen and hear what excited them," said pedal steel guitarist Ed Williams. "Because at this point we've, we've made a few records and we will make more records and the fact that we can take songs from the past and bring them back, we want the producer to do what excites them. And we can go into that space with them and they're all our songs and we we're proud of all of them."
Something about the album—and the band—is distinclty New Orleans, which makes sense considering bll but one member (PJ Howard, who is from Chicago) from there.
"There's just music everywhere in the town. It's completely immersed," explained Gekas. "Whether you go outside and you see a jazz funeral second line, or you see guys busking downtown in the corridor or you go to see actual shows, you can't get away from it. It just kind of seeps into your bones."
The Revivalists' sound covers a lot of ground and harkens back to many of their diverse influences, from Dr. John to Queen, the Beatles to Stevie Wonder, and more, but they are constantly moving forward. Recently, they recorded a live version of their song "Oh No" at the historic Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
We snuck away to the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals to record this special live version of "Oh No". Watch the full video here https://t.co/sExJoREoJ9 #madeinmuscleshoals pic.twitter.com/EN0p8uEN2G
— The Revivalists (@therevivalists) July 26, 2019
"When you get into a place with that much history and you're literally walking in the footprints of giants," said keyboardist/trumpetist Michael Girardot, "It kind of makes you step back and approach things differently."
Find out more about the band's process in the interview video above and be sure to catch them on tour this month.