The plant described in the song, "Acony Bell" appears to be Shortia galacifolia, also known as the Oconee bells. Welch later began her own record label under the name Acony. To celebrate the album's 20th anniversary, Welch re-released Revival as Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg which included demos, outtakes and alternate versions of the tracks in addition to eight new songs.
Mark Deming of Allmusic called it a "superb debut" and wrote, "Welch's debts to artists of the past are obvious and clearly acknowledged, but there's a maturity, intelligence, and keen eye for detail in her songs you wouldn't expect from someone simply trying to ape the Carter Family." Bill Friskics-Warren of No Depression praised the album as "breathtakingly austere evocations of rural culture."Ann Powers of Rolling Stone gave Revival a lukewarm review and criticized Welch for not singing of her own experiences, and "manufacturing emotion."Robert Christgau wrote Welch "just doesn't have the voice, eye, or way with words to bring her simulation off."