Numero Group: By The Numbers

A Look Back At The Eccentric Soul Revue

Tim Sutton from Getty Images finally came through with a handful of gorgeous snaps from the Brooklyn stop on the Eccentric Soul Revue tour.

Syl Johnson in his dressing room.

A nervous Dawn “Missy Dee” Scott waiting to go on stage.

This man only smiles: Cliff Curry from the Notations.

This man should be doing Vegas.

January 25, 2010, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Eccentric Soul Revue | Tags: , ,

We haven’t been to your place in a while but we do remember you could use some artwork on the walls. We’re just going to come right out and say it:  your interior design skills are for shit. Let us help you. We’ve commissioned the legendary (?) Detroit poster company Sleeping Giant to commemorate Numero Group’s highly successful Eccentric Soul Revue Tour with a limited edition run of thirty signed and numbered prints. They say size doesn’t matter but these stand a proud 24” x 18” and feature all the acts from The Crofoot Ballroom performance on November 8 2009. Impressive! Is it worth twenty bucks to improve your living space? Only you can answer that for sure but it would be best not to sleep on this offer. Limited edition items tend to fly out the door around here.

Found while cleaning out the camera
December 15, 2009, 9:03 am
Filed under: Eccentric Soul Revue | Tags:

In the hustle and bustle of playing catch up from the tour, the trusty Numero camera found itself neglected and full of photos. And while most it is meaningless dross (how many pictures of the Notations in front of Wall Drug signs do you really need?), this one encapsulates everything about the Eccentric Soul tour:

At one point we had three people sitting in this van, but after Michael hopped out in New York, Rob and Ken got to really spread out. Let’s dissect the contents, right to left from the top corner:

  • Boscoe and various LPs that have fallen out of a box. Shit happens. Rather than be returned to their rightful place, these precious gems have been stuffed in semi-precariously.
  • Pretzel bag. We ate so poorly on this trip that pretzels actually sound healthy in retrospect.
  • Intelligentsia coffee. Rob felt it important to bring our own coffee. This got most of us through the Columbus gig.
  • Empty Light: On The South Side Box. Ken thought it necessary to keep any empty boxes for future office use. In the end we were carrying a lot of cardboard.
  • Long white box. We bought these from Bags Unlimited three days before leaving. They displayed our 37 compact discs proudly.
  • Red Staples brand paper box. This box housed all of the show programs. While Rob did the bulk of the driving, Ken and Michael would fold. We recycled all the Grand Ballroom programs (rare!).

NPR’s Morning Edition Represents

The Chicago based music label Numero Group reissues forgotten gems from all different genres of music – rock and roll, gospel, funk, R&B and soul. Most recently some of the performers went on tour under the banner of the Eccentric Soul Revue. Guest host Jennifer Ludden speaks with one of the label’s co-founders Ken Shipley and one of the performers, Renaldo Domino.

Black Friday, or: HELP (It’s getting tight in here)
November 24, 2009, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Boddie, Eccentric Soul Revue, Methodology, Uncategorized | Tags:

It was bound to happen, after three years in our 1100 square foot basement office and an influx of over 40 releases, Numero has come to a space crossroads. Sometime around the middle of this year we noticed the warehouse was feeling a bit cramped. And by warehouse, we mean every single inch of office floor that isn’t occupied by a chair or a toilet. We already built new shelves, took out a lease on a storage unit, and reorganized the entire office, then 14 pallets of Light: On The South Side arrived and completely turned this place sideways. Hallways have gone from casual arteries to stomach-sucking traffic jams. The conference room is lined with LPs. Even the bathtub has boxes. And we’re still making records!

In an effort to get this office back to–at the very least–90% capacity, the Numero Group has decided to do something that no other business entity in the history of commerce has ever attempted: we’re going to sell items for less than the retail price! We even came up with a great name for the idea–we’re calling it a “sale.” OK, we recognize that this isn’t a new concept, but the extreme discounting of wares in an attempt to move product is a time-tested consumer hoodwink that, to date, we’ve been loathe to participate in. Until now! Sales generally indicate low prices, but this being Numero, we’re going to go one better. No, screw that, two better. Hell, let’s turn it up to three.

That’s three levels of savings, but not just savings–we’re giving stuff away. And by stuff, we mean stuff.

While supplies last (500 on the nose), buy any three (3) of the Numero titles listed below on CD for $45, get a copy of the Ant Hill Mob’s “The Number Runner Pt. 1/2″ 45 free. This previously unreleased Cleveland funk 45 is a sure shot, home hi-fi hit, and is completely unavailable outside this deal. There will be no digital dig, no iTunes, no mercy. Play it on 45, or don’t play it all.

While we still have ‘em, (500 on the chin), buy any six (6) of the Numero titles listed below on CD for $85, get a CD copy of the Eccentric Soul Revue live from the Park West Theater, April 4th 2009. If you missed that show, or any of the other five dates on our recent Eccentric Soul Revue tour, this is your shot to get back in the game. The 20 track disc features Renaldo Domino, Nate Evans, the Notations, and Syl Johnson, and cannot be purchased anywhere except in this deal. Plus the Ant Hill Mob 45 and our sincere gratitude.

And until we run out,  (89 on the cheek), buy any ten (10) of the Numero titles listed below on CD for $135, and get a hand-numbered and personalized test pressing from our archives. This has no real value beyond bragging rights to your sad circle of record collecting friends, and yet, is the must-own holiday item of the year. We guarantee the fingerprints of all Numero Group members will have sullied this trinket. And… you’ll also receive the Ant Hill Mob 45 and Live Eccentric Soul Revue CD.

Here are the titles. Have your plastic accessible.

002 Antena: Camino Del Sol
003 Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label
005 Fern Jones: The Glory Road
008 Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies From The Canyon
009 Eccentric Soul: The Big Mack Label
011 Eccentric Soul: Mighty Mike Lenaburg
012 Catherine Howe: What A Beautiful Place
014 Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay
015 Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label
016 Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul
017 Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts of Deep City
019 Don’t Stop: Recording Tap
021 Soul Messages From Dimona
022 Brotherman: OST by the Final Solution
023 Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples
027 Eccentric Soul: Smart’s Palace
*4 Boscoe: S/T
*5 Wee: You Can Fly On My Aeroplane
*6 Caroline Peyton: Mock Up
*7 Caroline Peyton Intuition

That’s over 1/3rd of our entire catalog to choose from, and each of them are worthy of a slot in your growing Numero library. Haven’t you been looking for an excuse to fill in those missing numbers? This is it. Already have them all? Get your friends and family hooked on Numero. It’s a cheap move, sure, but buy the 10 pack, keep the limited stuff, and break the discs out one by one to everyone on your Xmas list. It’s not regifting if you do it with love.

Listen, the sale has already started. The limited items are only getting more limited as you waste time hemming and hawing. In the spirit of the season, give to us by giving to yourself.

Click here to begin the wallet emptying process.

Time Out NY is doing our work for us

Nice look back at Hip Hop history through a single sample: Syl Johnson’s Different Strokes.

Syl Johnson Meets Megadeth and G n’ R

(Photograph courtesy of Aural States)

Easily one of the highlights of the tour was seeing Syl sport a Megadeth Countdown To Extincition t-shirt on stage under his jacket in Chicago and DC.  We picked up a copy of Guns n’ Roses Use Your Illusion II in Columbus for the long car ride to the 9:30 Club and midway through the highly pompous album – check “Get In The Ring” to refresh your memory – we realized that Syl has this heavy Axl Rose inflection in his voice these days.  This led us to the idea of a Syl Johnson cover album called, Blues Your Illusion I & II. Try singing this like Syl, “Ohhhh you could be miiiinnnne.  But your waaaaay out of liiiinnnnne.”  I think we are on to something….

Eccentric Soul Revue: “Like A Ship”

We got this great video on the road that Ben Poster and Aaron Wickenden cut together in a pinch to help us promote the NYC shows but, we never had a chance to upload it in time.  So, here’s the opening song of the tour from Chicago with Pastor TL Barret and his choir doing, “Like A Ship” off our upcoming release Good God! Born Again Funk!

Still digging out
November 18, 2009, 10:32 am
Filed under: Eccentric Soul Revue, Syl Johnson | Tags: ,

The week seemed like a year. Look at our inboxes for proof that the world is constantly moving, even as we were trapped in a van for 10 hours a day debating who was worse: Spin Doctors or Hootie (fight it out amongst yourselves in the comments section). The idea of typing up a tour diary seems impossible right now, what with boxes of merchandise to unpack, accounts to settle, and the daily grind of running a record label (we only tour in a spare time), but hopefully we’ll be able to put some of the madness down before it’s replaced by new headaches.

A few people must be thanked, people who likely will never read this, but thanked they will be regardless of RSS feed. Bill Sullivan, for keeping this entire thing from going off the rails (even if it did go off the rails in Brooklyn). Erik Selz, for convincing promoters to give us an absurd amount of money for a totally unproven side show attraction. Dana Meyerson at Biz 3, for making sure we were in front of everyone who reads a paper, magazine, or church bulletin. Scott Adamson, for keeping it together in the midst of a terrible tragedy. John Allen for the hospitality in Brooklyn, Damon Carfagna for the same in Columbus. The cities of New York and Brooklyn for not ripping our van off while it was filled with $25K worth of merchandise. Charlie Shipley, for the programs, even if we didn’t need all 4700.

To everyone who came out, we hope you had a wonderful time. And to those who stayed home… well… you done fucked up.

Now, to the point of this post. When Tim Sutton at Getty Images wrote and said he wanted to shoot the Brooklyn show, we expected that he would get a handful of shots from the crowd and be done with it. When he arrived on Friday night and went straight back stage, we knew it was going to be much deeper. This is just the tip:

Jon Pareles is a very nice man



The New York Times feels the love vibes emanating from The Eccentric Soul Revue.

Money quote, and I do mean money: “Many fans left the club clutching Numero Group LPs, destined for their own collections.”

Yes they did.


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