Published Jan 23, 2009In continued efforts to shed light on our lost musical history, the reissuing minds of the Numero Group are launching Local Customs, a new series out to explore the lost sounds of Middle America from the '60s and '70s.
In the words of Numbero, Local Customs "focuses on the woodsheds, basements, and living rooms where these records were made. Entrepreneurs in nowhere towns like Ecorse, MI, Rockford, IL, and Beaumont, TX documented the recordings of their fellow citizens and issued their songs on tiny labels and in even tinier pressings," all of which will now get the reissue treatment courtesy of the Chicago imprint.
The first release lined up in the series will be Downriver Revival, which will focus on the recordings of obscure American producer Felton Williams and is due out March 3. Included on the comp is an eclectic mix of Willams's recording between 1967 and 1981, covering everything from gospel to soul to funk to garage punk. Along with the tunes, which were all laid down by Ecrose citizens, the collection comes packaged up with a DVD of over 200 sound recordings culled from Williams's archives, as well as a 30-minute featurette on the making of Downriver Revival.
In related Numero news, the label is also launching what it calls the Numerophon, a vinyl-only imprint geared towards rediscovering primitive American and ethnic recordings. The complete songbook of '50s NY folkie Niela Miller, dubbed Songs of Leaving, marks the imprint's inaugural release, which like all the label's output will be pressed on audiophile-approved 150-gram vinyl. And while Miller's work continues to be a mystery to most listeners, many will likely recognize her track "Baby Don't Go to Town," which as legend has it was stolen by boyfriend Billy Roberts and "reworked" as "Hey Joe," the legendary song brought to fame by Jimi Hendrix, Love, the Creation and countless others.
Here is the tracklisting to Felton Williams's Downriver Revival, as well as that for Niela Miller's Songs of Leaving, which is due out February 10.
1. Shirley Ann Lee "There's a Light"
2. Gospel Supremes "Sinner Man"
3. Coleman Family "Peace On Earth"
4. Calvin Cooke "Walk with Me"
5. Shirley Ann Lee "I Shall Not Be Moved"
6. The Revelations "Take Care of Us"
7. Bobby Cook & The Explosion "Untitled"
8. The Organics "Footstumpin' (Alternate Take)
9. The Combinations "While You Were Gone"
10. The Apostles Of Music "Wade in the Water"
11. Deliverance Echoes "Heaven"
12. Bobby Cook & The Explosion "On the Way"
13. Shirley Ann Lee "How Can I Lose"
14. Young Generation "Running Mod"
15. The Burgess Band "Untitled"
16. Bobby Cook Quartette "Ridin' High"
17. Might Voices Of Wonder "Every Year Carries a Number"
18. Shirley Ann Lee "Please Accept My Prayer"
19. Calvin Cooke "What Happens to People"
20. Coleman Family "People Has It Hard"
21. Junior Mays Group "Round n' Round"
22. Pilgrim Wonder "He Never Failed"
23. Mighty Walker Brothers "He'll Make a Way"
24. Voices Of Deliverance "The Power of God"
Songs of Leaving:
1. "Down Hearted Man"
2. "Baby Don't Go to Town"
3. "Too Long Blues"
4. "You Gotta Know How to Love"
5. "Daddy Went to Jail"
6. "Hushabye Blues"
7. "Mean World"
8. "Goodbye New York"
9. "The World Ain't Ready"
10. "Jenny Gal"
Downriver Revival featuring Shirley Ann Lee