The headliner is 73 years old and has to relearn songs he hasn’t performed in decades. A supporting act’s bustin’-loose routine may make you think about defibrillators. But all of them—Syl Johnson, the Notations, Renaldo Domino, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound—are stars in Ken Shipley’s world. Shipley is co-founder of Numero Group, a Chicago-based archive label that specializes in exhaustive crate digging, unearthing regional legends and outsider labels. The Eccentric Soul Revue was the logical next step. He compares it to building a time machine set to Stax ’72: “I’m walking into Marty-McFly-Enchantment-Under-the-Sea territory here.” But Shipley promises not another oldies show, no croaky affair for PBS pledge drives. There will be no set breaks, no Motown. “Syl Johnson is an animal,” Shipley boasts, adding that his shows are a rebuke to the oldies-but-goodies circuit. “I have no interest personally in propping that kind of crap up. We want to show people that these are viable performers. Forget that you don’t know anybody here. Embrace that.”
THE ECCENTRIC SOUL REVUE PERFORMS AT 7 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930.