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World-renowned blues harmonica master James Cotton, whom Rolling Stone called, “One of the greats of all time, burning with brilliant virtuosity,” died on March 16, 2017 of pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was 81. His overwhelmingly powerful harmonica playing was one of the iconic sounds of the blues. He toured worldwide for over 60 years. 

Read the full story here.

Living Blues Magazine released their chart for the Top 50 Blues Albums for 2016 and Alligator fared very well. Toronzo Cannon’s Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way, took the top spot at #1. Alligator had three titles in the Top 5 and seven total on the Chart.

#1 Toronzo Cannon’s The Chicago Way
#2 Curtis Salgado’s The Beautiful Lowdown
#5 Moreland & Arbuckle’s Promised Land Or Bust
#7 Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials’ The Big Sound Of
#13 God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson 
#27 Tommy Castro & The Painkillers’ Method To My Madness 
#50 Various Artists, Alligator Records’ 45th Anniversary Collection

Congrats to all winners

Alligator Records is excited to share the news: award-winning blues and roots vocalist Shemekia Copeland is the proud new mother to Johnny Lee Copeland, born in Chicago on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2016. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces, Johnny Lee is said have his mother's pipes and does not like to be messed with.

Copeland's latest release, 2015's Outskirts Of Love received a Grammy nomination for Best Blues Album.

On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) announced two Grammy Award nominations for God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson. The album received a nod in the Best Roots Gospel Album category, and the song Mother's Children Have A Hard Time, performed by The Blind Boys Of Alabama (with Jason Isbell on guitar), was nominated for Best American Roots Performance. Winners will be announced on Sunday, February 12. 

The blues world lost a beloved member on Sunday, November 20 when Marie Dixon passed away. Marie was the widow of Willie Dixon and one of the crucial figures behind the Blues Heaven Foundation and the renovation of the Chess building at 2120 S. Michigan Ave. She was also one of Koko Taylor’s closest friends, and a warm, intelligent and charming woman. She carried on the Dixon legacy with great pride and energy. We’ll post funeral arrangements as soon as we learn them.

This shot of Marie and me was taken a few years ago at the Chicago Blues Festival. I was proud that she considered me a friend. –Bruce Iglauer 

Bruce Iglauer & Marie Dixon

Blues legend Lil' Ed Williams -- leader of the world-famous Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials -- will appear on TBS Network's CONAN this Tuesday, November 15. The award-winning guitarist will sit in with Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band for the entire show.

Lil' Ed Williams of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials? will be the special guest on the nationally syndicated radio show Elwood’s Bluesmobile this weekend, November 5 - 6. Lil' Ed will join Elwood Blues? (AKA Dan Aykroyd?) to discuss his new release, The Big Sound Of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials. Find an affiliate in your area here.

Ted Harvey, the terrific drummer who was one third of the happiest blues band in ChicagoHound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers—died on October 6 at the age of 85. Besides being one of the best Chicago blues shuffle drummers ever, Ted was a jovial, friendly man with a nice word and a smile for everyone. He never looked for credit for himself; he just wanted to make the band sound good. And he sure did…just listen to “Give Me Back My Wig,” with Ted picking up the tempo as the song goes along, bringing an extra dose of energy to each verse. He was never fancy, he just drove every song by putting every beat perfectly in the pocket. That was the genius of Ted Harvey. Services for Ted are at Gatling's Chapel, 10133 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL, with the wake from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. and the funeral immediately following.  

American musical legend Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr.—leader of the band Buckwheat Zydeco—died on September 24, 2016 of lung cancer at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Grammy and Emmy winning artist was the preeminent ambassador of Louisiana zydeco music. NPR’s Weekend Edition called him "the go-to guy for zydeco music...a master of accordion and organ."
2017 Blues Images Calendar & 23-Track CD2017 Blues Images Calendar & 23-Track CD
The 2017 "Classic Blues Artwork from the 1920's" Calendar with free CD has broad appeal to anyone interested in Blues music or history. Within its pages is a huge treasure trove of original Blues artwork from the earliest days of recorded Blues history. In addition, each calendar contains a CD that cleverly matches up each month's artwork with the original recording it advertises. These songs make the calendar come alive!

This year's CD has a total of 23 tracks: 12 Blues classics from Bl...

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Moreland & Arbuckle - Take Me With You (When You Go)

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Welcome to Alligator Records
When I created Alligator Records, the very first promo piece to promote that very first Hound Dog Taylor album was headed "Genuine Houserockin' Music." That became our slogan, and we wear it proudly today. "Genuine" because the music we record is deeply rooted in the blues tradition (even when it pushes the standard definition of blues) and is created by musicians who have honed their songs not on synthesizers in their bedrooms, but in front of real audiences, responding to the emotional needs of their listeners. "House" instead of "theatre" or "arena" or "stadium," because our music is ultimately intimate, even when it's big and loud. It's not meant to be presented. It's meant to be shared between the musicians and the audience, like everyone at Florence's shared the music with Hound Dog Taylor. And "Rockin'" because it's designed to move you. Most of Alligator's records will move your feet or your body, but we've tried to make records that will move that other part of your soul. Sometimes that can mean music that cleanses your inner pain by pulling it out of you, the "hurts so good" that is so special to the blues. And sometimes it just means the pure release and fun of musicians pouring their energy into a great groove.
-Bruce Iglauer

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#CocoMontoya's brand new release, HARD TRUTH, is available now. Check out "I Want To Shout About It" at @Spotify…
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The brand new album from #CocoMontoya - HARDTRUTH - is available now! Check it out on @AppleMusic…
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