Filed under: Deep City, Eccentric Soul 45s, Good God!, Universal Togetherness Band | Tags: Numeroquai, Perk Badger, Trevor Dandy, Universal Togetherness Band
We’ve heard you loud and clear: You need more reproduction singles for your DJ gig at the local sandwich shop on Wednesday evenings 8-midnight.
Let’s start your set with a hard slice of Florida funk from Perk Badger. “Do Your Stuff” was recently used in a Nike Air Jordan campaign, so Becky Backpack and Tony Trainspot won’t be leaning over the decks during at least one song.
Looking for that perfect segue between the Doobie Brothers and Jamaroquai? We got you covered. The hit that never was, Universal Togetherness Band’s “My Sentiments,” finally comes to 45 with an exclusive unreleased flip. Dig that sax.
Finally, after half a decade on the shelf, we put Trevor Dandy’s “Is There any Love” back in print as a two sided single. Cue burn the A side to your heart’s content, then flip it over and start again. 400 plays guaranteed! Let the chin scratchers pontificate about where they heard it first. Yelawolf? Ghostface? Cudi? Common?
What began as the album closer for the beloved Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984 compilation, manifested itself into an appearance on Good God! Apocryphal Hymns and the certified single-LP sleeper, Everything God Is Love ’78. This is an office favorite. But as it relates to Otis G. Johnson’s larger catalog, Everything God Is Love ’78 is business as usual. Like other independent artists on our rosters, Otis G. Johnson registered with CDBaby to move product to the masses. While the technology has changed over subsequent CDs, Otis G. Johnson’s method is still the same—a man, his message, and his machines. The analog drum machine/Farfisa combo featured on Everything God Is Love ’78 is still our favorite though, and would make a logical starting point for any infatuation with drum machine gospel you should develop in the future.
Filed under: Sensational Saints
While trying to determine the site of the Sensational Saints cover photo, understated collector and Cleveland native Cameron Kowall confessed, “Cool you guys are issuing that. That’s probably the best gospel LP from these parts.” With the Sensational Saints’ sanctified LP going on sale Tuesday, I asked Cameron to explain what makes the Sensational Saints so sensational.
“One trip through midtown Cleveland and the tremendous output of gospel music here seems much more reasonable. Storefront congregations abound in this decrepit, once-thriving area. And out of the hundreds of local gospel albums I’ve auditioned from the era, not more than a few stick out as certified Cleveland essentials.
The most accessible and genre defying among them—The Sensational Saints’ You Won’t Believe It. Raw grooves provide instant appeal and a fresh platform for the vocal quartet’s channelled wanderings. The lead vocals of Melvin Kennibrew echo through murky harmonies and wah pedal before piercing the sound stage with bursts of faith. The band plays on, possessed by this transcendent gospel jam, ceasing only once a message is delivered. Kennibrew strips secular tunes of their meaning and rebuilds them with vocal group expanse and lyric fit for a young gospel seeker. The resulting album flows in a bit of a haze—introspective and heartfelt—never straying from its religious bloodline or underground sound.”
Filed under: Dynamic, Good God!, Iasos, Lists, Medusa, Mind & Matter, Unwound
Filed under: Good God!
In 2005, our friend Breck T. Bunce shared a mix disc with us of gospel songs through the lens of American funk. A handful of those songs would end up on NUM010 Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal, sending us down a path that would later touch down in Local Customs: Downriver Revival, Good God! Born Again Funk, and Boddie Recording Co.: Cleveland, Ohio. Earlier this month we issued our third volume in the Good God! series, NUM040 Good God! Apocryphal Hymns, which brought us full circle to our original 18 song collection with the second appearance of Melvin Kenniebrew’s Sensational Saints.
Some may recall Preacher & the Saints’ “Jesus Rhapsody” as the opening cut on Hymnal. But before Melvin was Preacher, he was just one of a revolving cast of Saints that had been operating in the Cleveland area since the late ’50s. The Sensational Saints issued an LP and a handful of 45s on James Bullard’s BOS label, several of which are being collected on our King Bullard Versions: Songs of the BOS Label LP this June. As the Saints were the best known group on the label, we originally opted to put them on the cover:
This may not be the last time you hear from the Saints. We accidentally mastered their You Won’t Believe It (Try Us You’ll Like It) LP earlier this year and need to find something to do with it. Gospel, however, is likely a genre we won’t be revisiting for a couple years. Those seeking salvation can use this checklist in the meantime:
NUM010 Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal
NUM026 Local Customs: Downriver Revival
NUM030 Good God! Born AGain Funk
NUM040 Good God! Apocryphal Hymns
44003 Shirley Ann Lee: Songs of Light
44004 King Bullard Versions: Songs of the BOS Label
JR.009 Otis G. Johnson: God Is Love
In honor of our latest entry into the Good God! series being released today, we’ve bought air time in a handful of minor markets in hopes of penetrating the real gospel music world. If you’re not living in Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga, TN, Shreveport, LA, or Gulfport, MS, and not awake between the hours of 3 and 4 AM, your best bet at catching the spot is by tapping the play arrow on the screen above.
In May 2013, The Numero Group will add three unique titles to the gospel canon. The first is the third entry into the Good God! series, the second the fourth album in our Folkways-inspired Numerophon line, and the third a pixel for pixel replica of one of the most damaged, outsider gospel LPs ever recorded.
Good God! Apocryphal Hymns CD / 2LP
The third installment in Numero’s series of otherworldly gospel, robed funk, and spiritual soul, Apocryphal Hymns is a slim new gospel songbook, penned powerfully by the genre’s lesser-known disciples. Here, heavenly harmonies, psychedelic guitars, damaged sacred steel, a bleeding french horn, off-kilter choirs, and consumer-side electronic percussion decorate the Word, with performance modes that stray far from the flock, but hew always to the message. In homage to the the stock jacket record industry of the 1970s, select one of these four alternate covers: Woodland Twilight, Seashore Morning, Mountain Waterfall, and Sunbeam Canyon.
01. Robert Vanderbilt & the Foundation Of Souls – A Message Especially From God
02. Spiritual Harmonizers – God’s Love
03. Sensational Saints – That’s All I Need
04. Otis G. Johnson – Walk With Jesus
05. Shelton Kilby – Poor Wayfaring Stranger
06. Jonah Thompson – Get Involved
07. Dwain Vinyard – Searching For The Truth
08. Supreme Jubilees – It’ll All Be Over
09. Religious Souls – Sinner Man
10. Gospel Clouds – Let Us Pray
11. Flying Eagles Gospel Singers – Can’t Run This Race Alone
12. Soul Superiors – Faith
13. God’s Band – Come Holy Spirit
14. Whole Truth – Can You Lose By Following God
15. Fantastic Goldenaires of Rocky Mount, NC – Thank You Lord
16. Wayne & Thelma and the McAllister Singers – Peace When He Comes
17. Francis Reneau & the Mission Singers – I Hear You Calling
18. Bernard Upshaw Singers – Have You Tried Jesus
19. Chester Lewis – Precious Lord
20. Kenneth Day – No Harm Done Calling On Jesus (LP only)
On Cleveland’s late ’60s gospel scene, the BOS label was the refined, professional ying to Boddie’s lo-fi yang, galloping to the fore bearing a torch for Curtis Mayfield’s robe-wearing roots. Founded by gospel impresario James Bullard, BOS is the first chapter in story that includes stints producing major spiritual albums for the Birthright, Roadshow, and Word labels. BOS got its start inside Lester Johnson and Bill Branch’s Way Out concern, running the devotional wing of Cleveland’s largest black-owned record company, and picking up a ton of Way Out’s soulful flavor in the process. Compiled here are BOS’s less traditional moments—12 bridges between FM R&B and AM sermons from a time when those worlds were splitting apart.
Sensational Saints – The War Is Over
Trumplettes – My Life Will Be Sweeter
Mighty Imperials – Unity
Trumpelettes – I’ve Been To The Top Of The Mountain
Mighty Imperials – We Need Him Now
Sensational Saint – Walk Through The Valley
BOS Singers – Move Satan
Capitalaires – Glory, Glory
Southern Echoes – Why Am I Treated So Bad
Philip Brown The Friendly Seven – I Had A Talk
Trumpelettes – You Don’t Know My Trouble
Southern Echoes – Burden Down
Otis G. Johnson Everything – God Is Love 78
For outsider gospel visionary and Detroit native Otis G. Johnson, the Holy Ghost was in the machine…in this case a rhythm-equipped Hammond organ. Everything – God Is Love 78, a singular 1978 mid-fi document, features android percussion against chords of Otis’s own invention, possessed by minor tonality and frequent bum notes. Lifting it further are extemporaneous vocal homilies to the rapture, love, and everything, plus occasional “other” voicings that scratch at the periphery of the mix. Homespun gospel rarely entered this dirge-like, intuitive space, nor did it commonly achieve such a spectral and captivating hymn to its darkest conventions.