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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."

Shemekia Copeland will be presenting the city of Chicago’s Fifth Star Award to bluesman Buddy Guy at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Sept 14th. The Fifth Star Awards celebrate creativity and recognize institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions in arts and culture. Find additional infomation on the event here.

Moreland & Arbuckle’s Promised Land Or Bust is as deep as Delta blues and heavy as thundering rock, as the band continues to wring hard-hitting, modern roots music from traditional forms. Their Alligator Records debut has received critical acclaim from a plethora of publications, music reviewers and fans alike. We previously released videos for two songs from the album – “Mean And Evil” and “When The Lights Are Burning Low.” Now we present the video for the lead track “Take Me With You (When You Go),” which is their ode to going on a journey…physical, spiritual, or otherwise. Check out the visually stunning video here.  

Toronzo Cannon Is a Travelin’ Blues Man feature by Mark Guarino on Alligator’s Toronzo Cannon in Chicago Magazine. The feature touches on life growing up in Chicago, his 24 –year day job as a CTA bus driver, his stroll through the crowd at last year’s Chicago Blues Festival, his Alligator Records’ debut, The Chicago Way, and his upcoming performances this Friday at Chicago Blues Fest with Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and a headlining performance on Saturday at Blues On Water Street in Batavia, IL.  

Hound Dog Taylor was born 101 years ago today (4/12/1915)! It was Bruce Iglauer’s burning desire to release an album by his favorite band – Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers - that started Alligator Records in 1971. Take some time today and check out one of his foot-stomping shuffles, supercharged boogies or a searing slow blues on Spotify or Apple Music. Happy Birthday HDT! 

REMEMBERING DAVID BOWIE:  Late in 1985 or early in 1986 Alligator got a phone call from one of David Bowie's assistants. Bowie was recording music for the animated film “Labyrinth.” He was looking for a blues guitar player to play on a song called “Underground” and had discovered one of Albert Collins' Alligator albums (apparently he hadn't heard of Albert before then). He wanted Albert to fly to New York the next day to record a guitar part. Albert was in the middle of a six-night stand at Albert’s Hall in Toronto. I called him and persuaded him to get up at 6 a.m. and fly to New York. We met at the airport and took a cab to Atlantic Records’ studio where Bowie was working on the soundtrack along with Arif Mardin, the famous producer/arranger. Bowie was a very gracious host, warmly greeting Albert and making both of us feel very welcome. In about an hour, Albert cut a selection of solos for the song on his famous Fender Telecaster. We took a moment to have our pictures taken (I’m the one who isn't David Bowie or Albert Collins) and then headed back for the airport so Albert could play in Toronto that night. If you listen to the song, you can hear Albert most clearly in the last 20 seconds of the song, though he’s mixed pretty low. By the way, not only did David Bowie have no idea who Albert Collins was until the day before the session, but Albert had no idea who David Bowie was until I called him to come to New York.  —Bruce Iglauer

Bowie, Bruce Iglauer & Albert Collins 

Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of roots rock/blues band Moreland & Arbuckle. The self-described "roots and blues from the heartland" group (guitarist Aaron Moreland, harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle and drummer Kendall Newby) will release their as yet untitled label debut -- produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword) -- in Spring, 2016. Read all about it here.
Check out Alligator Records on Spotify! The Genuine Houserockin’ Blues From Alligator playlist features more than three hours of music from across our vast catalog and will be updated regularly. 

The Jazz & Blues Lover's Guide To The U.S.The Jazz & Blues Lover's Guide To The U.S.
Where did Charlie Parker first play with Dizzy Gillespie? What are the coolest clubs in Chicago? Which city has the largest jazz museum? Where is Howlin’ Wolf buried? The answers can be found in The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the U.S., an insiders look at all the places where jazz and blues live, from national clubs to unmarked holes in the wall, in twenty-five cities and the Mississippi Delta. With the most up-to-date listings for festivals, historic theaters, record stores, ...

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Selwyn Birchwood Performing "Love Me Again" On Music City Roots - Live From The Factory

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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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Five @alligator1971 artists receive 12 Blues Music Award Nominations
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