Ever since Chicago-based Numero Group began buying up and releasing the catalogs of small R&B labels (including Detroit’s Big Mack imprint), the company envisioned live showcases for the unsung talent that recorded for them. That gave birth to the Eccentric Soul Revue, which debuted during April in the Windy City and now is hitting the road.
“We always wanted to do a revue to show people it’s not just nostalgia or some hipster foray into the backwoods of soul music,” explains Numero’s Ken Shipley. “We wanted to show these are viable performers.
“I think these cats are as good as any of the other ones out there — in a way more sharp and fresh ’cause they’ve got a lot more to lose. They can’t phone this stuff in, so (the show) has a more scrappy feel to it.”
The Eccentric Soul Revue’s stop this weekend in Pontiac will have a home town flavor to it, with Bobby Cook from Ecorse and Flint’s Velma Perkins joining the Notations, Syl Johnson and Renaldo Domingo and the 10-piece JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound band that’s backing them.
“It’s more like a soul circus,” Shipley says. “It’s constantly moving from performer to performer, with no set breaks. When you buy a ticket for this show, you’re essentially buying a ticket to a time machine. It’s a really unpredictable thing.
“It’s a real experiment, too. We don’t know how many people are going to come to these shows — I hope a lot. If it’s successful, we’ll probably do it again. If not, we probably won’t. It’s a real unknown at this point, which is kind of exciting.”
Numero’s Eccentric Soul Revue plays Sunday (Nov. 8) at The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 reserved, $20 general admission. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.