By Tara Bennett
It’s been eight years since New Orleans first heard the euphoric assortment of The Revivalists, whose sound can be described as nothing less than soul rock.
The band’s last album City of Sound came out in early 2014, and the Revivalists have been on the road ever since, playing a wide variety of festivals, clubs, theaters, and even aboard a cruise. Now the band has made their way back to Louisiana, seeing a sold out show at the House of Blues on Friday, Feb. 13, and are now gearing up for their show at The Varsity on Friday, Feb. 20.
Heading the seven-piece outfit is vocalist David Shaw, along with guitarist Zack Feinberg, bassist George Gekas, pedal steel player Ed Williams, saxophonist Rob Ingraham keyboardist and trumpeter Michael Giradot, and drummer Andrew Campanelli.
“It’s always a good time with a lot of familiar faces,” said Shaw. “We love to come to Baton Rouge and have a good time. They sure know how to party.”
Currently, the band is taking some down time, visiting family and reconnecting with home until their show on Friday. While Shaw can’t wait to wake up and make music in his pajamas, he also noted there is a certain feel to coming home.
“Most of the time it’s a heightened level of energy,” said Shaw. “It’s like anything when you come home and see your mom for the first time after six months, and you give her a big hug and tell her you love her. It’s kind of like that.”
New Orleans may be where Shaw hangs his hat now, but it wasn’t always his hometown, as he is originally from Ohio. However, the soul of Louisiana music still inspired him just the same as if he lived there his entire life.
“It really kind of snuck into me when I moved down to New Orleans, and I think that’s kind of what happens to everyone,” said Shaw. “So you know I think it’s definitely in our blood. Did we grow up here in Louisiana? No, but it’s definitely just from living there.”
According to Shaw, the Revivalists were a band before they ever had a name. During the band’s formation, New Orleans was going through a period of resurgence and rebuilding, which influenced their style. In essence, the Revivalists are all about reviving music and prefer older styles of music.
“I feel a greater connection with the older stuff,” said Shaw. “It feels more real.”
Although the Revivalists have spent the majority of the past year touring, that doesn’t mean they haven’t found the time to hit the studio to work on their follow up album to City of Sound. Right now, the Revivalists are sitting on 15 fully tracked songs, which they’ll probably cut down to 12 or 13 for their yet-untitled next album, which should come out this summer.
“We’ve been playing some new stuff for a while, so if you haven’t heard us in a year or six months, then you’ll definitely hear quite a few songs that are new,” said Shaw. “If you saw us last time we were through Baton Rouge, you might hear one or two that are new. Regardless, it’s gonna be a great time and you’re gonna get some fresh stuff.”
For a band that travels so much and features so many members, the Revivalists get along incredibly well. Their number one piece of advice on adjusting to a touring lifestyle?
“Get a good pillow,” said Shaw. “I think just keep it cool and take it one day at a time. Don’t get too ahead of yourself, nothing good happens overnight. Do the work that it takes.”
Catch The Revivalists at The Varsity Theater on Friday with special guest Stone Rabbits. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 on the day of the show.