Posts Tagged ‘Wheedle’s Groove’
Just came across this amazing video from Seattle Channel of the Wheedle’s Groove performance at Bumbershoot 2010. That week in September was so exciting for all of us and the Wheedle’s crew–not only did Wheedle’s Groove get to play the 40th anniversary of Bumbershoot but earlier that week Mayor McGinn proclaimed September 4th as Wheedle’s Groove Day. What a day! Check out the full set–featuring Overton Berry, Ural Thomas, Ron Buford, Calvin Law, Jr., Patrinell Wright, Bernadette Bascom, Robbie Hill, Cookin’ Bag, Broham, Cold, Bold & Together–on Seattle Channel’s Front Row or stream below. Smokin’!
Located some 2,500 miles from its namesake state, Mississippi Records (Portland, OR) manages to exist in an old-world cloud that floats around at 78 RPMs. Although they eschew modern conveniences like credit card machines and even cash registers, their taste and curatorial sense is very modern. Not only can you find albums by contemporary artists in the shop but just turn around and there are bins over flowing with rare folk, blues, rock, punk and all the rest. Don’t forget to check out their own releases on the Mississippi Records label, too. So saddle on up for this week’s Record Store of the Week: Mississippi Records!
Tell us some stuff about Mississippi Records.
We’re a small store in Portland that sells records, tapes, books & used stereo gear. We’ve been around for almost 8 years & haven’t evolved much in that time – no cash register or computer or credit card machine or answering machine or any advance business tools like that. Just inventory, a notebook & a calculator. We did recently get a cat.
Seems like the store’s / label’s motto is “Always…Love Over Gold” which is adorned above your doorway. Can you talk a bit about this…would you call it a philosophy?
Yeah – it’s a philosophy. I put that above the door to haunt whoever is working & whoever is shopping to making decisions based on more pressing things than finance – like asthetics & the golden rule & all that kind of thing.
And speaking of the Mississippi Records label, can you give us a brief history of it?
The first four releases (ed. – for a discography, check this link) had little to do with what came after – they were all friends projects or me & fellow label runer Alex Yusimov’s personal music projects (His being a pop LP under the name Duck Duck Grey Duck & mine being the Illegal Guardians cassette – my punk band with a 10 year old lead singer. Only 30 copies of that were made) After those two releases an audio zine about Police brutality in Portland & a memorial record for a much loved member of our community followed.
A year or so later me & my old friend Warren Hill decided to start putting together reissues of stuff we liked in very small pressings. Another old friend of mine Alex Yusimov got in on it & started adding more punk oriented records to the catalogue. We were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time as not alot of labels were doing LP reissues of the type of things we were into back then even though the demand was there.
Thanks to timing & our practice of keeping everything relatively cheap we managed to sell alot of records fast which gave us the freedom to crank out alot of product. We’ve released only what is inspiring to us with little regard to whether it is salable or not. Somehow we’ve managed to keep selling this weird stuff. I am thankfull for that everyday. We’ve released 78 records & are just getting started.
What kind of folks frequent your store, and what sort of records do they typically buy?
We get all kinds & they buy all kinds. We have every type of music except modern electric dance stuff & modern corporate shlock (But we do have some pre 1990′s corporate shlock despite my problems with it).
What is your favorite Light in the Attic release and why?
Special mentions got to go to the reissue of the first Karen Dalton It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best (LITA 045) LP which made alot of my customers very happy (by making them sad) & the Wheedles Groove Seattle’s Finest In Funk & Soul 1965-75 (LITA 009) compilation because I’m a sucker for good work on documenting music scenes that haven’t been properly recognized.
OK, now for a ridiculous question. In mortal combat between Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie McTell, who would emerge as the victor?
I believe those two gentlemen would never resort to mortal combat but would rather work out there differences conversationally. They were both very eduacated men with calm angelic demeanors despite what you might read into their personalities based on the large amount of murder ballads & lines about beating women in their song repetoires.
Musically, I think Jefferson is the more strikingly original & revolutionary guitarist (His music freaks me out a little) & McTell is the more technically impressive. I’ll go with Jefferson even though I listen to McTell alot more. What the hell kind of question is this? (ed. – exactly…)
What is the coolest/most prized record has come into your store that you never thought you’d ever see?
I once bought a copy of Buffalo Springfield’s second record that my sister had scrawled her name all over 27 years ago. I remembered her doing it. The guy who brought it in bought it in New York which means it travelled from LA to New York to Portland to find me 27 years later. That tripped me out.
What’s the funniest/weirdest/strangest encounter you’ve had with a customer in the store?
One time a lady came in & asked if we had any Gogie Grant LPs (Gogi was a middle of the road 1950s pop singer who had a hit called the Wayward Wind). I pulled out one & showed it to here & she said, “You know, I’m Gogie Grant” I held up the record next to her & she did indeed look like an older version of the face smiling at me from the cover. We small talked a bit about her career back in the day & she left.
About 6 months later an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT older lady came to the store & asked if we had any Gogie Grant records. I pulled out the same record & showed it too her & she said, “You know, I’m Gogie Grant.” Before I could ask her anything about the previous clamer of that name or the fact that she looked nothing like the women on the cover of the LP she corrected herself – ‘Well, I was the original Gogi Grant. I had a huge hit with my first single, The Wayward Wind on Columbia Records. Right after that I was captured by the Turks & put in a prison. An African tribe broke me out & rode me to freedom atop a glowing albino elephant. I stayed amongst the tribe as their Queen for many years but soon grew homesick. When I came back to the states I was mortified to find that Columbia Records had hired a proxy to capitalize on my hit song. They had some other lady…the lady on the cover of this LP….recording & touring under my name. It was tragic.”
Whatever the real story may be, I thought it was amazing that the two Gogi Grants would both happen to stumble into the same record store to tell their tales so close in time to eachother. I have since looked at many photos of Gogi Grant & have found a few early press photos that more closely resemble the African princess version of Gogi than the one on the LP.
What do you love most about working at a cool independent record shop?
It gives me a good reason to put on a suit & tie everyday.
4007 North Mississippi Avenue
Portland, OR 97227
After picking up awards from festivals around the globe, we are excited to announce the arrival of the Wheedle’s Groove film directed by Jennifer Maas! Wheedle’s Groove documents Seattle’s soul and funk scene in the late 1960s to early 1970s and the story of its rediscovery, thanks to DJ/collector/digger extraordinaire Mr. Supreme and the Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Finest in Funk & Sould 1965-75 (LITA 009) comp.
Well, OK, we were fibbing a bit. The DVD isn’t quite here yet but you may pre-order your copy of Wheedle’s Groove (CINE 802) today! Click HERE for more info!
****More sweet news****
Just got word that Wheedle’s Groove is featured as “DVD of the Month” with a “4 Star” rating in the February issue Mojo Magazine! Pick it up today!
We’re very excited to announce that yet another dream reissue project has finally come to fruition: a deluxe, double vinyl release of the Overton Berry Trio’s At Seattle’s Doubletree Inn and T.O.B.E.! Housed in a deulxe “tip-on” old school hand-numbered gatefold sleeve, these two highly sought after records by Seattle legend and Wheedle’s Groove star Overton Berry are finally available! Fully re-mastered audio with liner notes by Kurt B. Reighley, this limited edition pressing also comes with a download card for three previously unreleased tracks from the T.O.B.E. sessions.
Prominently featured on both of Light In The Attic’s Wheedle’s Groove releases and director Jennifer Maas’ Wheedle’s Groove documentary, the Overton Berry Trio and their transcendental interpretation of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” (from At Seattle’s Doubletree Inn) is notorious amongst forward thinking DJ’s and record collectors the world-over. The T.O.B.E. album (especially the break-beat heavy “Jesus Christ Superstar”) has also piqued the radar of many a tastemaker and original copies are virtually extinct and prohibitively priced when available in record dealer’s crates or offered for sale on the web.
For audio samples and to order Overton Berry Trio T.O.B.E. / At Seattle’s Doubletree Inn click HERE!
Very excited to announce that Jennifer Maas’ documentary Wheedle’s Groove, which documents Seattle’s soul and funk scene in the late 1960s to early 1970s and the story of its rediscovery, is now available everywhere in the UK! Sit tight North America and the rest of the World…you’ll be seeing copies in shops in your areas in the next two weeks. For now, check out what Mojo Magazine had to say out the film in the March 2011 issue (Cliff’s notes verion: it got 4 stars!) and be sure to check back tomorrow for more Wheedle’s Groove goodies!
Big news this week for Wheedle’s Groove! Run out and pick up the March 31, 2011 (#1132) issue of Rolling Stone–yeah, the one with Howard Stern on the cover–and flip as quickly as possible to page 68. Whoop there it is! Barry Walters calls Wheedle’s Groove an “exceptionally good-looking doc” in which “the real stars are the unsung heroes who now live as ordinary folk but were once superfly kings of the ghetto.” Congrats to filmmaker Jennifer Maas and all of the musicians that made this film what it is.
That’s right! Jennifer Maas’ Wheedle’s Groove is now available in North America. Here’s your chance to bring a little Seattle soul-funk into your home! Available in record stores everywhere!
As you may have seen in our Twitter feed this week, Dave Segal wrote a great piece on Northwest recording engineer Kearney Barton (as in Wheedle’s Groove Kearney Barton) in the latest edition of The Stranger. Check it out online HERE!
Sadly, Kearney’s health is quickly deteriorating and he had to retire after over six decades of recording Northwest music. Our friend and mastering guru Dave Cooley has been helping Kearney sell his music gear to cover health bills. The man’s legendary custom build, one-of-a-kind, Langevin recording console is now on eBay – check out the listing for full info and photos. It’s pretty incredible–The Kingsmen, The Standells, The Sonics, Earl Hines, Paul Bley, and many others recorded on this very console.
Kearney has arguably recorded more music than anyone in the entire Pacific Northwest, dating back to 1958, including rock, jazz, sitar music, country, psych, folk, operas, classical, radio jingles, the list goes on and on – Quincy Jones to The Sonics. His significance to Northwest music history cannot be understated.
We’re currently working with Kearney, his family, and the University of Washington to digitize thousands of analog reels from Kearney’s endless audio archive, and eventually release some of this material on CD/LP/Digital. The University is now preserving over 1,500 reels, but we’re looking to find a safe place – ideally a local Seattle museum – to house the remainder of the archive and then locate funding to pay for months of professional digitizing.
Please spread the word. We could use your help.
Heading to this year’s Sasquatch Music Festival? Well if you’re one of the lucky ticket holders (both day passes and 4-day passes are SOLD OUT!) then make sure to catch Wheedle’s Groove on Sunday, May 29th at the Wookie Stage (set time TBA). The full band will be there and believe us, they are going to throw down. Full schedule is available here.
If you grab some photos during the show, Tweet them and make sure to tag @LightInTheAttic!
See ya at the Gorge!