LOCAL CUSTOMS SERIES
If Harry Smith’s Anthology Of American Folk Music is the outcome of years spent sifting through 78s and acetates, Numero’s new Local Customs series 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; until now thanks to the people at Numero.
Local Customs’ first release, Downriver Revival, chronicles the life of producer/music historian Felton Williams. Set up in an Ecorse, MI basement, between 1967 and 1981 Williams captured the musical output of Ecorse’s citizens and issued them on the Solid Rock, Compose, and Revival labels. Here are 24 of Williams’ most fascinating recordings, covering gospel, group soul, garage-punk, northern, jazz, and funk. The package also includes a DVD of over 200 sound recordings from Williams’ archives and a 30 minute featurette on the making of Downriver Revival.
NUMEROPHON VINYL ONLY IMPRINT
And for Vinyl fiends, Numerophon is an LP-only imprint focused on the rediscovery of primitive American and ethnic recordings. Impeccably designed, housed in thick jackets, and pressed on durable 150 gram vinyl, you’ll know a Numerophon album when you see it, the same way you knew Folkways after that first thrift store find.
Culled from a warped acetate cut at Variety Recording Service in 1962, Numerophon’s vinyl only, Songs Of Leaving is the complete songbook of New York folkie Niela Miller. A Bleeker & MacDougal scenester, Miller picked up the guitar after an encounter with Eric Weissberg, lent her Martin to Pete Seeger, and even had Dave Van Ronk cover “Mean World Blues.” Her real claim to fame, however, is writing “Baby Don’t Go To Town,” a song that boyfriend Billy Roberts would steal and “rewrite” as “Hey Joe.” You’ve heard Hendrix, Love, the Byrds, the Creation, Wilson Pickett and hundreds others do it, now hear the original for the first time.