I really liked that German group you put out last year, the ones who recorded in the Ace Hardware store that used to be a Jazz club.
Oh yeah, The Footstompers, they're coming back again this year, you can come and check them out.
That's a problem - I'm up in Canada, in Kingston near the New York State border, so that's a bit of a distance to travel for a night out. I know you spent a lot of time and energy on purchasing old catalogues like Apollo, and making new pressings from the masters and was wondering if you ever considered only doing that. Or did you always plan on making "new" recordings as well?
Like I said I started out by buying out other people's stock - you know buying a 100 records for a buck a piece and selling them for three or something like that. A lot of it was buying up masters of various companies - and it would take about three of four of them to make an album because there were only three or four songs on each tape. I still have some of those I haven't done anything with because of that - especially now when you need about sixteen songs for a CD.
The CD we just released, Mike Walbridge's Chicago Footwarmers Crazy Rhythm disc, was made up of two recordings. I had bought the Blackbird label back in 1966 and we released an LP of theirs. So this year we brought them back into the studio and recorded the version of the band that's around today and combined the two recordings for one CD. So that disc was a 50/50 split between the old and the new - and I say right now we are doing about 75% new recordings and the rest are reissues.
We're lucky we have our own studio. We don't have to rent studio time when we want to record stuff, and, in fact, we can rent the space out for a little extra money, because it costs money to do a recording and the sales in jazz and blues are so low you're going to be damn lucky to make it back. You know what percentage of record sales blues accounts for in Amercia? 1.5%. Jazz is double that at 3%. We're lucky to sell 1000 copies of a disc in the first year of its release and after that sales only slow down.