When the chaps over at Brewerytown Beats in Philadelphia asked me to do an in store at their shop as well as play their local B Town music venue Sarah’s Place, how could I say no? It had been quite a while since I played Philadelphia. So long, in fact, that some of the venues were long gone or just long out of the loop. I had been wanting to connect with B Town and the other two thirds of Philly’s Little Big Things Crew for a while. I was excited to be sharing a bill with them. With Hurricane Joaquin approaching, I jumped on 95 and headed out. Traffic was tough, the rain was heavy, but I finally made it to B Town with time to spare. I had time to kill so I went and got an excellent sandwich from RyBrew and got back to the busy shop just in time to see the lads from Paperstax in the shop looking at soul records. Sandwich down, the newest Daddy in B Town, Max picked me up and we headed over to WKDU 91.7 FM to do an on air interview as well as a guest set. Junior and Lil’ Dave have been doing Eavesdrop Radio for a long time and both are staples on the Philly airwaves. You can check out the interview and guest set here. My interview and guest set start at the 1:07 mark right after Marlena Shaw.
Max from B Town Beats, DJ Prestige, Junior from Record Breakin’
Digging In the WKDU record library. Deep!
From there we headed over to the venue, where Personify and Froz 1 were dropping heat rocks left and right. To say that these guys have heat is an understatement. Their deep knowledge of funk and soul 45s is impressive. Each one is tied to a specific region, with Personify an expert on New Orleans records and Froz 1 a Philly encyclopedia of labels, artists, and other assorted gems. It was indeed an honor to be on the decks with them. They both have a wealth of knowledge and are superb DJs in their own right. We all took turns and had them dancing to a variety of funky gems.
I really love this ESPO mural on the front of the building.
Upstairs at Sarah’s Place. Thanks to littlemongoosemusic for this photo.
The following day we were going to head to the Allentown 45 show, but ended up staying around in the City of Brotherly Love to get some good eats and then hit up some of the record shops before the afternoon instore at Brewerytown Beats. My informed guide Froz 1 took us to The Milkcrate Cafe, Beautiful World Syndicate, and Long In The Tooth. each shop was unique in their own right. The Milkcrate Cafe (which served the hottest coffee I’ve ever had), was a cool concept with a cafe upstairs and a shop down below. Their selection was great, and I was able to pick up a decent spiritual jazz LP that was on my list. from there we hit up Beautiful World, where I had a long conversation with the owner Ian about the notorious Stinkie Steve. It’s great to be able to bond over not just records, but stories of this nefarious individual who has touched record shops, DJs, diggers, and others in a weird way. I only wish I had done a documentary about him ten years ago. He is truly one of the weirdest and wildest record dealers on the East Coast. Our last stop before the afternoon gig was Long In The Tooth. The shop was packed, had a ton of records, but was a little bit high in the price if you know what I mean. A bit much for FleaMarket Funk prices, plus if I was going to spend a few bucks it was to be at Brewerytown. I didn’t like the fatc that even though they had just about every record in the jazz section that was on your want list, that they were packed so tight you couldn’t browse, and some employee was behind you immediately to fix the records and make them straight. Great shop though, just a little pricey for me.
The time had finally come and the instore at B Town was ready to go. The shop itself was packed with local beat heads and there was even an appearance by local record legend Tony Larson, who I was happy I finally got to meet. The dude has records. Froz 1 and I spun a variety of funky stuff as well as raw soul and other assorted bag 45s. It was a great afternoon. I like Brewerytown Beats. The staff id friendly, Max and Ben let me dig in the basement where I found a long time 45 want for a buck, and ended up getting some great Philly records as well as another jazz LP that was on my list. If you’re in the Philly area, you need to check this shop out. They are knowledgeable, friendly, and have really good prices. Besides that, the store is meant for digging, spacious, and the selection is on point. They have a LOT of jazz records, which for me was heaven. Its not just old records either, they carry a variety of new selections in a lot of genres, have a huge wall of cassettes, and a nice dollar bin in the back as well.
Thanks to all who made this weekend possible: Max and Ben at B Town, Ian from Sailor Jerry, Sarah’s Place, Personify and Froz 1, Eavesdrop Radio and WKDU, and all the people who came out to the venue and instore. It’s great to see old friends and make new friends who are all united by the love of records and great music. See you soon Philly!