Compact Capsules by Dan Ferguson
Based in Chicago, categorize The Numero Group team as excavators of the aural variety. We take a look at two excellent, late 2011 collections from the Windy City concern each heavy on the soul & R&B.
Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny labels
The Numero Group
The common denominator of this stunning collection of 1960s and 70s soul and R&B is the legendary late night Saturday night disc jockey Richard Pegue who produced, or at least figured, in many of the tracks. In typical Numero Group fashion, little to any of the 24 tracks comprising this collection ever struck even beyond Chicago city limits. In fact, much of it was not discovered in earnest until Pegue's passing in 2009. The blended is a definite varied bag from snappy soul instrumentals to falsetto-laced vocal groups. In sum total, Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels is an aural education of an important, but under the radar moment in Windy City soul history. Visit www.numerogroup.com.
Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio
The Numero Group
Short of someone reading this being a Cleveland native who was hip to the local sounds of the city in the late 1960s and ‘70s, I won't pretend that anyone out there knows much of anything about the Boddie Recording Company. That's where The Numero Group steps in as aforementioned excavators of sound. For the packaging alone, this lavish set represents another amazing compilation from Team Numero that focuses on the Cleveland-based, low cost, do-it-as-you-want-it Boddie Recording Company. Those attributes alone are enough to clue you in that the talent displayed on this 57-track set varies widely. Heavy on the soul, early funk and gospel, there are diamonds aplenty across the three CDs comprising this smorgasbord of sound. We're talking such regional fare as Lou Ragland, Hot Chocolate, the Gospel Mountaineers, Harvey and the Phenomenals, Ben Dover and the Screamers, not to mention the rash of gospel quartets, and all of it primed and ready to entice the adventurous ears out there.(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3.)