Friday, October 16, 2009

On the south side

A few months ago I saw this amazing trailer over at Soulsides:

I pre-ordered with the quickness and today the mailman brought me this:

Numero Group is easily one of the best labels reissuing music-- their care in every element of their releases, from research, to licensing, to packaging is astounding-- but Light: On the South Side is a first for them, a book of photographs with a companion album. The book contains a series of black and white pictures taken by Michael L. Abramson in the nightclubs on the South side of Chicago between 1975 and 1977. The photos are amazing and evocative, capturing all the beauty and ugliness, excitement and boredom, exultation and desperation of too many nights out.

The companion album (plus bonus 45 with the first 1000 orders) is a perfect complement, collecting 18 slices of funky blues. As much great soul, funk and jazz as Chicago produced in the 60s and 70s, it was at heart a blues town and had you been hanging out at Perv's House, Pepper's Hideout, The High Chaparral, The Patio Lounge, or The Showcase Lounge while Abramson was snapping photos, odds are this is the sound you would have heard. The Numero Group's selections are predictably great. Sound clips and ordering details are here.

Here's a track that wouldn't have been out of place:

Singing Sam & the Sparks: "Daybreak" (Honey, 197?)

I don't have much info on this one aside from the fact that Singing Sam was Sam Chatman, who according to Robert Pruter and them, was a veteran of the Chicago scene.

Oh, and, this has nothing to do with the Numero Group comp but to this day I can't see the words "south side" without hearing this in my head.

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Anonymous eddy bauer said...

Thanks for posting about this. Bow Legged Woman is really f*cking me up right now

October 16, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Somebody really ought to do a Bobby Rush compilation because that's just the tip of the iceberg-- he's got a dozen sides in exactly that vein, all of them great.

October 16, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

b. rush rules... simple as that even his later 70's stuff offers some heat

an old h.s. buddy of mine wrote a good book on chicago dive bars..

fun stuff he hits the real mccoys

October 16, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger dm said...

Love this track! Thanks Matt!

October 19, 2009 at 4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I'm dying to know what's on the bonus 45. I cant find info on it anywhere. Any chance of uploading a sample?

March 3, 2010 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

The bonus single is Sonny Wimberly's "Moe & Joe", which is like a very raw, lo-fi version of "Slippin' Into Darkness".

March 3, 2010 at 4:39 PM  

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