Flood of material a good problem to have on The Revivalists’ new CD

  • August 28, 2015
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New Orleans rock ’n’ roll band The Revivalists were ready when they went into the studio to record the new album "Men Amongst Mountains.”

They had so many songs that they needed a dry-erase board to keep lists of definites, strong maybes, long shots and so on. They started to cut down the list almost immediately. Many songs were left unfinished.

"One song that (singer) Dave (Shaw) had was a really good song, but we never even tracked it because it was too much in the same vein as ‘Fade Away’ (a song on the album), so we said, ‘Let’s save that for the next album,’ ” guitarist Zack Feinberg said.

The Revivalists will play the Varsity Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 3.

The band has toured regularly for more than five years, which has made them better. Feinberg hears it when he listens to "City of Sound,” the band’s previous album.

"I was a much younger person, and I lacked experience and confidence in a number of things,” he said. "Personally, I hear some things that I wish I would have owned more or did differently.”

For the last five years, The Revivalists have taken almost any gig they could get as they worked to build a following. Now, lead singer/guitarist David Shaw says they’re a bigger draw and can be a little more selective.

"We’re focusing more on bigger markets,” he said. "It’s just a smarter way to tour. And some of the smaller rooms can’t accommodate us anymore. We come in with our own monitor rig, and some of the smaller venues don’t have the things we need to be able to put on the show. And the demand is too many people.”

Half of the songs on "Men Amongst Mountains” have been in the band’s live repertoire, at least occasionally. According to Feinberg, working them in kept the set fresh for the band, and it helped the group understand the songs and what they needed. That process had downsides, though.

"Sometimes, right away can be even better than if you road test it,” he said. "If you’re just learning it and just playing it as a band for the first couple of times, you’re not relying on muscle memory. It’s more emotionally fresh for you.”

The songs on "Men Amongst Mountains” are all about passion. Shaw sings with an R&B singer’s rasp and urgency. The arrangements load the tracks with musical moments that renew the intensity and underscore Shaw’s emotions.

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