2013 was a breakout year for The Revivalists. After months of incessant touring, the New Orleans-based septet—David Shaw (vocals), Ed Williams (pedal steel guitar), Zack Feinberg (guitar), Rob Ingraham (saxophone), George Gekas (bass), Andrew Campanelli (drums) and Michael Giradot (keys/trumpet)—built up a solid following on the national stage. What started out as a couple of dudes hanging out at Tipitina’s youth music workshops has blossomed into a full-fledged musical force. The band even brought things full circle by teaching one of those same Sunday workshops at the iconic NOLA club last September.
While everyone else in the Crescent City was reveling in the annual Bacchanalia that is Mardi Gras this past Tuesday, The Revivalists had one more reason to celebrate, as March 4 marked the re-release of their 2012 LP City of Sound, which will now find its way to store shelves all over the country. We spoke with frontman David Shaw about the the new reissue, life on the road, working with Galactic and much more.
What made the band want to re release City of Sound?
It was a function of the label, Wind Up Records. They contacted us and were interested in our music, and they expressed some interest in wanting to give City of Sound some more layers. We previously just self-released it in the channels that we had available to us at the time, which nowadays are still pretty good for the independent artists. We kind of wanted to set the stage a little bigger so we said, “alright, we’ll give this one a shot and re-release it to the masses.” We signed on with the label. They are distributed by Sony, so by March 4 our records will be in all the stores and obviously all the online outlets as well. That was the incentive to re-release this album, to give it some more leg and give it more room.
How is this version different from the original release?
The re-release has something that we needed to do to set it apart from the original release to give the fans a little something more. People have been asking us for years to do another live album, and so that’s what we did. We put together what we’ve been recording from the past year. We hand-selected 8 tracks to go with this re-release. So, it’s basically like they’re getting new live versions of songs from City of Sound, from our first EP and from our first full length. It’s kind of a compilation of those first three discs. And that’s all free. It comes along with the disc.
It looks like a lot of those live tracks are from your Harvest the Music performance. Was there something about that show that really resonated with you guys?
The magic doesn’t happen every single night. I think one of the things that really keeps a band together, let’s just say you’re on tour, 15 out of 20 shows, the magic happens. That’s how it should go, hopefully, sometimes five out of the 20 have the magic. It was one of those shows where we were all hitting on the same wavelength, all cylinders were full go, for sure. That was one of those shows where magic definitely occurred. Everybody knew it afterwards, and we were all feeling really great after the show. And then the next question is, how were the tracks recorded? How did they turn out? They sounded great. We probably could have taken that entire show, had it mixed and just put it out. We didn’t have enough room on the disc. We took a “best of” from it and that was that.
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