I recently wrote a post about Truth & Soul's CD by Tyrone Ashley aka Sammy Campbell. By coincidence, Tenyu Hamaki's Hollygrove Records have issued 2 45s by him which must have also come out of the vaults. They are in a totally different groove to the Truth & Soul material.
In 1978 Sammy’s new house in Highland Park, still in contract, was burned to the ground from an overheated furnace, melting the “Job Opening” masters with it. Moving back to Plainfield, Sammy started fresh by setting up his own studio “The Hut” in his backyard. Equipped with only a four track ¼” 3340 Tascam, Sammy worked with neighborhood friends to create his most lo-fi yet soulful songs to date. Billy Spruill and Eddie Hazel, formerly of The Parliament, played guitar; Eric Karr sang background; Kevin Hawkins and William Rogers alternated on keyboards; and Sammy used an early Korg drum machine. Spending his spare time making music, Sammy kept no organization of his tapes, leaving most unmarked and stored away in the attic for almost 30 years. Interested in discovering his own past, Sammy went to Joel Katz late 2006 to start the restoration process. After hearing the high distortion and poor quality plaguing vinyl re-issue labels today, Joel informed Sammy the task of proper treatment and the best sound could only be found with Hollygrove Records.
Hollygrove Records is based in Brooklyn and was conceived by Tenyu Hamaki. Here's what he says about the label:
Hollygrove Records is conceived in dedication to the rich musical history of the small New Orleans community. Ravaged by Katrina no need remind the urgency to archive the abundant cultural wealth not only locally but across the entire country with much left neglected or undiscovered. Our task to promote both secular and religious, independent soul by selling and cataloguing original recordings of the past or preserving unreleased music with analogue integrity in the vinyl manufacturing process.
Tenyu has put out four 45s so far - the 2 by Sammy Campbell and 2 by the New Orleans band Family Underground as well as an album on the band. You can get copies direct from Hollygrove.
Hollygrove's website is well worth a visit because you can biographical detail on Sammy Campbell and Family Underground. Tenyu also uses the site to sell vinyl and he also includes some extremely interesting audio clips and information to back up the sales. he specialises in obscure gospel so if that's your bag then pay him a visit.