News


Alligator Records To Be Represented By Amped Distribution
12/17/2018
Beginning January 1, 2019, Alligator Records, the Chicago-based blues and roots label, will be represented for physical distribution in the U.S. by AMPED Distribution, a division of Alliance Entertainment.

Alligator Records To Be Represented By Amped Distribution

Alligator Records stands today as one of the most enduring and revered independent blues labels in the world.”   --Chicago Tribune

Beginning January 1, 2019, Alligator Records, the Chicago-based blues and roots label, will be represented for physical distribution in the U.S. by AMPED Distribution, a division of Alliance Entertainment. AMPED is one of the largest independent distributors in the country, representing over 150 labels. For the last 18 years, Alligator has been distributed by Ryko Distribution and ADA. 

According to Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer, “We’re sad to be leaving ADA, who have been great partners throughout this volatile time in the industry.  Alligator has been blessed with strong national distribution for many years, beginning in 2000 with Ryko Distribution, which later morphed into ADA. We look forward to continuing success as a member of AMPED’s family of labels.”

Dean Tabaac, head of AMPED Distribution, says "Bruce Iglauer and his staff have established Alligator Records to be one of the most iconic and important blues labels ever. AMPED is thrilled and honored to be entrusted as Alligator's new distributor and to become a part of their growing legacy for years to come. AMPED's ability to connect Alligator's impressive roster of quintessential artists with fans wherever they shop is the core of who we are and we are delighted Bruce Iglauer feels the same way."

Alligator's 2019 releases include The Kentucky Headhunters' Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' Killin' It Live as well as new releases from Toronzo Cannon, Coco Montoya, The Cash Box Kings, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling and more.

Click here for the full story

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' KILLIN' IT LIVE Set For Release
12/10/2018
Alligator Records has set a February 1, 2019 release date in Europe and the UK and a March 1, 2019 date in the US and Canada for Killin’ It Live, the blistering new live album from Tommy Castro & The Painkillers.

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' KILLIN' IT LIVE Set For Release

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' KILLIN' IT LIVE Set For Release

"Castro’s aggressive, inspired attack on vocals and guitar is phenomenal."
–Washington Post

"Tommy Castro & The Painkillers showcase the power of the blues, soul and down-and-dirty rock ‘n’ roll...rousing and infectious. This is energizing, scorching, soul-shaking music….pure pleasure."
–Living Blues

Alligator Records has set a February 1, 2019 release date in Europe and the UK and a March 1, 2019 date in the US and Canada for Killin’ It Live, the blistering new live album from Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. Killin’ It Live is a nonstop, spirited mix of blues, rock and soul, with rollicking, hypnotic grooves fueled by Castro’s fervent vocals and the band's muscular musicianship.

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues to fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He’s performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. The Painkillers—bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown  and keyboardist Michael Emerson—have now been playing together over four years. After hundreds of live shows, they have coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, making them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today.

With the group firing on all cylinders, Castro knew the time was right to answer his fans’ demands for a live album. Killin’ It Live captures the band at the peak of their creative and improvisational powers, and features one unforgettable, unpredictable performance after another. “This is the best band we’ve ever had,” says Castro. We really got something going on beyond just being good musicians. Every song we play live now has that right feel—all the dynamics. It allows us to jam out more on stage. Killin’ It Live is what you hear when you see us live.” Featuring songs from throughout Castro ’s career, Killin’ It Live was produced by Castro and engineer/songwriter Ron Alan Cohen and recorded at venues in Texas, New York, Michigan and California during 2018. The album includes eight Castro originals spanning his entire career and two Castro-ized covers, each showing a slightly different side of his multifaceted musical personality.

Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Tommy Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He fell under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield and other blues-rockers. Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike and Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop to Taj Mahal, toured through the area, and Castro was at every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy and Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ’s, where he often jammed, dreaming of one day busting out. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from his Mexican friends’ lowriders, Tommy started to create his own personal sound and style. He honed his guitar skills and intense vocals, learning how to capture an audience as he performed on San Jose&r squo;s highly competitive bar scene.

As his reputation spread, Tommy played in a variety of Bay Area blues and soul bands, soon making a name for himself as a hotter-than-hot live artist bursting at the seams with talent. He joined Warner Brothers’ artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s, gigging all over the country. After forming the first Tommy Castro Band in 1991, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street Records, as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label. He signed with Alligator Records in 2009, releasing Hard Believer to massive acclaim.

Castro formed the first incarnation of The Painkillers in 2012 and released The Devil You Know. By 2014 (with Brown and Emerson taking over drums and keys respectively) they had become a lean, mean four-piece lineup. The current band released Method To My Madness in 2015 and Stompin' Ground in 2017, with critics shouting praise and admirers cheering the group’s every move. Blues Revue said simply, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong.”

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will perform in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and France throughout February 2019 before touring throughout North America beginning in the Spring. European dates are below. US dates will be announced shortly.

February 2019 European tour:
13 Meisenfrei Blues Club - Bremen, GERMANY
14 Kulturwerkstatt Buer e.V. - Melle, GERMANY
15 Q-Factory - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
16 Groene Engel - Oss, NETHERLANDS
17 Musiktheater Piano - Dortmund, GERMANY
18 Die Kantine - Yard Club - Cologne, GERMANY
19 Spirit of 66 - Verviers, BELGIUM
20 Nachtleben - Frankfurt , GERMANY
21 Kofferfabrik - Fürth, GERMANY
22 Bürgerhaus Zum Vorfuß - Vollmersbach, GERMANY
23 Strandbar51 - Winterbach, GERMANY
24 Mühle Hunziken - Rubigen, SWITZERLAND
25 New Morning - Paris, FRANCE

Click here for the full story

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio Receives Grammy Award Nomination
12/7/2018
Legendary guitarist, singer and songwriter Elvin Bishop and his Big Fun Trio -- Bob Welsh on piano and guitar and Willy Jordan on cajón (a hand-played Peruvian drumbox) and vocals -- received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for their 2018 Alligator Records album, Something Smells Funky 'Round Here.

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio Receives Grammy Award Nomination

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio Receives Grammy Award Nomination

Deceptively loose but always tight…the raspy chuckle in Bishop’s singing and the sharp sting of his guitar are forceful and fresh, enduring and fun.
–Fresh Air, NPR

Raw and simple and utterly endearing.

--RELIX

Elvin Bishop has always been big fun and is the ringmaster in his own blues circus. With Willy Jordan and Bob Welsh, Bishop whomps out tough, muscular and rollicking boogie-infused blues.
--No Depression

Legendary guitarist, singer and songwriter Elvin Bishop and his Big Fun Trio -- Bob Welsh on piano and guitar and Willy Jordan on cajón (a hand-played Peruvian drumbox) and vocals -- received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for their 2018 Alligator Records album, Something Smells Funky 'Round Here. Living Blues calls it "joyously raunchy, fun-loving music." The album is a follow up to the group's 2017 Grammy-nominated self-titled debut.

Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here mixes rousing new originals, reinventions of three Bishop classics and some unexpected, soul-shaking covers. The potent title track – a tongue-in-cheek State Of The Union address as only Elvin can deliver -- kicks the album off with Bishop aiming his lyrical truths at those in power. The humorous but piercingly direct lyrics take aim at the current political scene while Bishop’s deep blues guitar playing drives the point home. “This album fell together easily,” says Bishop. “Everything I visualized about the songs – from Bob’s playing to Willy’s singing, came true. Bob and Willy are great musicians.”

Rock & Roll and Blues Hall Of Famer Elvin Bishop formed The Big Fun Trio in late 2015 with his friends Welsh and Jordan. After playing just a handful of live dates, the group’s instantly crowd-pleasing music and undeniable chemistry took the blues world by storm. With the release of their self-titled CD in 2017, media and fan response was immediate and overwhelming. According to Bishop, “With a trio there’s no place to hide­—you’ve got to be pourin’ everything you got right out front. You need to be totally into it all the time. It’s really cool to see how people react to the goin’-for-it feel of the music.”

Rolling Stone calls Bishop “a legendary guitarist” whose playing is “impeccable and spirited…a distinguished American player.”

Click here for the full story

Blues Legend Jody Williams: February 3, 1935 – December 1, 2018
12/3/2018

Famed Chicago blues guitarist/vocalist and Blues Hall Of Fame member Jody Williams, who recorded with legends including Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann and his childhood friend Bo Diddley, as well as under his own name, died of cancer at the Munster Med Inn in Munster, Indiana on December 1, 2018. He lived in nearby St. John, Indiana. He was 83.

Blues Legend Jody Williams: February 3, 1935 – December 1, 2018

[Although Jody was not an Alligator artist, he was a vital and important member of the blues community and we felt this information was important to share.]

Famed Chicago blues guitarist/vocalist and Blues Hall Of Fame member Jody Williams, who recorded with legends including Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann and his childhood friend Bo Diddley, as well as under his own name, died of cancer at the Munster Med Inn in Munster, Indiana on December 1, 2018. He lived in nearby St. John, Indiana. He was 83.

One of the last and most accomplished practitioners of the golden 1950s era of Chicago blues, Williams was well-known for his instantly recognizable stinging guitar tone, a keen vibrato and a sensibility that straddled the turf between gutbucket blues, sophisticated jazzy West Coast stylings and even vintage rockabilly, along with solid vocals and thoughtful songwriting. His often-replicated guitar parts were crucial to some of the most iconic songs of the genre, including on Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love and I’m Bad, Howlin’ Wolf’s Evil and Forty Four, Billy Boy Arnold’s I Wish You Would and I Ain’t Got You, and Sonny Boy Williamson’s Don’t Start Me Talking.

Joseph Leon (Jody) Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 3, 1935 and moved to Chicago around age five. After he began exploring music on harmonica and jaw harp, he met Ellas McDaniel (the future Bo Diddley) at a talent show. Bo taught him an open guitar tuning and they began working the streets together in 1951. Williams began playing clubs at age 17 and went on to record under his own name (including his influential instrumental anthem Lucky Lou). Williams was the first Chicago blues guitarist to master B.B. King’s stringbending-based approach and influenced the young modernists of the day such as Otis Rush and Buddy Guy. He served for years as the house guitarist at Chess Records and backed a varied list of artists including Jimmy Witherspoon, Floyd Dixon, Dale Hawkins and Bobby Charles. He played on Buddy Morrow’s big band version of Rib Joint, and dueled with B.B. King on an Otis Spann 45 for the Checker label. He also played on multiple rock ‘n’ roll package tours. In 1958 he was called to the army, serving his tour of duty in Germany. Returning to Chicago, Williams studied computers and engineering. He left the music business in the 1960s.

Williams returned to public performance in 2000. Focusing on being a band leader and songwriter, Williams recorded two very well-received CDs of predominantly original material, 2002’s Return Of A Legend and 2004's You Left Me In the Dark, both for Evidence Records. Living Blues said, "Williams is a modern-day standard bearer for a still-vital style that continues to impress, exhilarate and inspire fifty years after he first helped create it." The success of the CDs led him to play festivals all over the country in addition to dates overseas. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in Memphis in 2013 and into the Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame in 2015.

Williams is survived by his wife Jeanne Hadenfelt, his daughters Marilyn Murphy and Sissy Williams, sons Anthony and Jason Williams, grandchildren Justin, Noel, Joseph, Joshua, River and Ethan Williams and Gerold Murphy, and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Sunday, December 9
Leak & Sons Funeral Home, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, IL
2:00PM - Wake
3:00PM - Service

 

Click here for the full story

Alligator Albums Dominate MOJO's Top 10 Blues CDs Of 2018
11/29/2018
Tastemaker UK magazine MOJO, in the January 2019 issue, includes four Alligator Records releases in their influential list of Top Ten Blues Albums of 2018. Sitting at the #1 spot is Shemekia Copeland's groundbreaking America's Child, followed at #2 by Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz and Giles Robson's acoustic triumph, Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues*. The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling's label debut, The High Cost Of Low Living, landed at #4. And Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager's irresistible duo album, Rough Cut, took the #7 spot.

Alligator Albums Dominate MOJO's Top 10 Blues CDs Of 2018

MOJO says:

#1 America's Child:
"Shemekia Copeland’s voice is rich, soulful and totally commanding. Authoritative, passionate Stax-styled stirrers, raw Chicago blues and countryish folk rockers."

#2 Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues:
"Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz and Giles Robson are three master instrumentalists taking a stroll through old Bluesville. But this is no studious re-creation: Walker's rich, flexible voice remains his own invention, while Katz (piano) and Robson (harmonica) always play themselves rather than ghosts."



#4 The High Cost Of Low Living:
"Guitarist and singer Nick Moss shows the world his fearsome guitar chops and his complete familiarity with the great tradition of Chicago bar-blues-band- music. Partnered with harmonica-player Dennis Gruenling, Moss creates a two-headed monster that takes the band thundering through a program of pieces from the past and crisp originals."


#7 Rough Cut"
"This is almost as stripped-down as you can get, just voice and harmonica with acoustic guitar and a few drop-ins on drums, bass or piano. But Salgado and Hager have the skill and taste to play exactly what’s required by a programme of old songs and quirky originals.
"


*Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues was released in North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand by Alligator, and in all other territories by Munich Records, a division of V2 Records Benelux.

Click here for the full story

The Kentucky Headhunters' LIVE AT THE RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR Set For Jan 11, 2019 Release
11/5/2018
Alligator Records has set a January 11, 2019 release date for Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, the new album from Grammy-winning band The Kentucky Headhunters.

The Kentucky Headhunters' LIVE AT THE RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR Set For Jan 11, 2019 Release

Includes Three Recently Discovered Studio Tracks Featuring Legendary Blues Pianist Johnnie Johnson

Rowdy, twanging, wild-eyed Southern rockers perform songs that insist on down-home roots. The Headhunters bring a sense of bar-band recklessness, riffing with unchecked muscle, combining country roots with ferocious, bluesy hard rock.
–The New York Times

Substantial, guitar-driven Southern rock…crunching guitars and aggressive percussion.
–Rolling Stone

One of the best and most influential country rock bands. Seamless harmonies, genre-bending, Clapton-esque guitar work. Potent and unique.
–NPR Music

Alligator Records has set a January 11, 2019 release date for Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, the new album from Grammy-winning band The Kentucky Headhunters. The band -- guitarist/vocalist Richard Young, his brother drummer Fred Young, guitarist Greg Martin and bassist/vocalist Doug Phelps --- had never before been to Europe in their 30-plus year career. This set, recorded at The Ramblin' Man Fair in Maidstone, UK, captures them at the height of their powers.

Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair finds the band blazing through a 10-song set in front of 25,000 screaming UK fans. Combining old-school blues and blistering Southern rock with country overtones, The Kentucky Headhunters cross borders and genres with ease, as the elated UK audience roars its collective approval throughout the concert. The album closes with three recently rediscovered studio tracks from the legendary Meet Me In Bluesland sessions featuring late blues piano icon Johnnie Johnson (known for his seminal piano work driving Chuck Berry’s most famous songs).

Although The Kentucky Headhunters have been recording and touring together for over 30 years (and making music together for over 50 years), they had never, until 2016, performed overseas. That year, Richard—a notoriously uneasy flier—let his son John Fred (drummer for internationally beloved hard rock group Black Stone Cherry) talk him into bringing The Kentucky Headhunters to Europe. A tour of Sweden and the United Kingdom was booked, and the band was on its way to earning a whole new audience for their raucous and rowdy music.

Since their multiple award-winning debut album in 1989, Pickin' On Nashville (Mercury), the band has released 12 more albums with total sales reaching over 11 million. Constant touring has kept the band busy and each new release has kept them in high demand. 2015’s Alligator CD, Meet Me In Bluesland (recorded in 2003 with Johnnie Johnson), brought the band to the attention of many new fans. No Depression called the album, “A raucous, rockin’ romp that’ll put a big ole grin on your face. Johnson pounds out licks like a wrecking ball.” The Wall Street Journal called it, “a collection of rollicking, loose-limbed songs rooted in the blues and vintage-style rock ‘n’ roll.”

2016’s On Safari (Plowboy Records) led to the band’s first European tour and in turn to the album Live At The Ramblin’ Man Fair, their second career live album. “Truth is,” says Richard, “we didn’t even know we were being recorded. I found out later the festival folks recorded our whole set. After hearing it, I knew it captured us exactly as we really are, and I knew we had to release it.” With the new album and another UK/European tour in the works, The Kentucky Headhunters are excited to visit their new friends and fans across the ocean, as well as hitting the highway across the U.S. and Canada.

Whether they’re turning Southern rock fans on to blues or turning blues fans on to Southern rock, The Kentucky Headhunters are simply thrilled to be enriching the lives of so many music fans for so many years. According to Richard, “When the four of us get together, it’s a powerful thing. It makes people happy. It’s really good music.”

 

Click here for the full story

Three Alligator Records Artists Receive 2018 Maple Blues Award Nominations
11/4/2018
The Toronto Blues Society has announced the nominees for the 2018 Maple Blues Awards. Three Alligator artists -- Rick Estrin and Shemekia Copeland, and Halifax native Lindsay Beaver -- were all recognized. Estrin and Copeland were nominated for the coveted B.B. King International Artist Of The Year Award. Beaver was nominated for the Drummer Of The Year Award.

Three Alligator Records Artists Receive 2018 Maple Blues Award Nominations

Rick Estrin and Shemekia Copeland Nominated for International Artist Of The Year

Lindsay Beaver Receives Nomination for Drummer Of The Year

The Toronto Blues Society has announced the nominees for the 2018 Maple Blues Awards. Three Alligator artists -- Rick Estrin and Shemekia Copeland, and Halifax native Lindsay Beaver -- were all recognized. Estrin and Copeland were nominated for the coveted B.B. King International Artist Of The Year Award. Beaver was nominated for the Drummer Of The Year Award.

The Maple Blues Awards are Canada’s National Blues Awards Program. The program promotes blues music across the country, and recognizes outstanding achievement in the field. Nominees are selected by a panel of 45 blues experts. The panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada.Winners in instrumental categories — guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass — will be determined by the Nominating Panel. Winners in all other categories will be selected by blues fans across Canada. Winners will be announced in a ceremony at Koerner Hall in Toronto on February 4, 2019.

Harmonicist/vocalist/songwriter Rick Estrin is leader of 2018's Blues Music Award-winning band Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Their latest album is Groovin' In Greaseland. Blues Music Magazine says, "Rick Estrin is not like anyone else on the planet. He is a talented singer, a harmonica player and band leader, as well as one of the more resourceful and intriguing songwriters the blues has ever produced."

NPR Music called award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland's latest album, America's Child, "Head-turning and outspoken, America’s Child is a true hybrid of simmering, real-talking spirit and emphatic, folkie-and soul-style statement-making. Copeland sings slow-burning soul and rollicking country-blues with growling vigor and potent conviction."

Vocalist/drummer/songwriter Lindsay Beaver's Alligator Records debut, Tough As Love (released October 12, 2018), debuted at #1 on the Living Blues Radio Chart. Elmore says, "Lindsay Beaver stands apart. The fiery album brings gutsy, vintage rock n’ roll, rockabilly, punk blues, and straight ahead blues. Beaver’s emotive vocals soar."

Click here for the full story

Blues And R&B Vocalist And Drummer Lindsay Beaver Announces TOUGH AS LOVE Tour
10/8/2018
Blues-rocking, soul-singing drummer, songwriter and bandleader Lindsay Beaver has announced a major U.S. and Canadian tour in support of her Alligator Records debut, Tough As Love, due out on October 12. The album introduces her as a true force of nature with a sky’s-the-limit future.Confirmed dates are here.

Blues And R&B Vocalist And Drummer Lindsay Beaver Announces TOUGH AS LOVE Tour

Blues And R&B Vocalist And Drummer Lindsay Beaver Announces TOUGH AS LOVE Tour

  BLUES AND R&B VOCALIST AND DRUMMER LINDSAY BEAVER ANNOUNCES
TOUGH AS LOVE TOUR

Alligator Records Debut CD
Tough As Love Set For October 12 Release

“She’s like the love child of Amy Winehouse and Little Richard.”
–Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records president


“When I first started out, I couldn't find a singer I liked and I couldn't find a drummer I liked, so I decided to do both.”  
–Lindsay Beaver

Blues-rocking, soul-singing drummer, songwriter and bandleader Lindsay Beaver has announced a major U.S. and Canadian tour in support of her Alligator Records debut, Tough As Love, due out on October 12. The album introduces her as a true force of nature with a sky’s-the-limit future. Confirmed dates are below.

On the album and on stage, Beaver makes an immediate and unforgettable impression. Standing front and center at her kit, singing every song from the depths of her soul, she delivers blues, R&B and old school rock ‘n’ roll with punk rock energy, and sings with a voice brimming with attitude and soulfulness. She comes at every song with urgent intensity, soul-baring emotion, a distinct swagger and a take-no-prisoners confidence.

Tough As Love, produced by Beaver, was recorded in Lindsay’s current hometown of Austin, Texas. She wrote seven of the album’s twelve tracks, the striking originals melding seamlessly with the perfectly-chosen covers. Her deep understanding of blues and roots rock traditions is a launching pad for her songs, combining electric urgency with skill and finesse. Tough As Love honors some of Beaver’s inspirations (including songs by Little Willie John, Angela Strehli and Art Neville) while introducing her own unforgettable songs. Along with her touring band—guitarist Brad Stivers and bassist Josh Williams—well-known friends including Marcia Ball, Dennis Gruenling, Laura Chavez, Eve Monsees and Sax Gordon all add their talents to the proceedings.

Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Beaver possesses an old soul at the young age of 33. She is a classically trained vocalist and a jazz-trained drummer with a deep love and knowledge of roots music, from blues to jazz to R&B ballads to raucous rock ‘n’ roll. Live and on her recordings, she lays it all on the line, performing her signature mix of unforgettable originals and dance floor-filling versions of songs by artists as diverse as Sam Cooke and The Detroit Cobras.

Over the course of her career, Beaver self-released five albums by her previous band, the 24th Street Wailers, producing three of them. Tough As Love is her first release under her own name. “I like music with drive and passion,” she says. “I write what I know and I sing what I know. At my shows, I want people to have fun and to be moved. I want everyone to be inspired to dance and I want at least some people to be moved to tears. And I definitely want every person to go home saying, ‘I’m never going to forget this.’”

Lindsay Beaver Tough As LoveTour:

Oct 10, 2018  The Zoo Bar - Lincoln, NE
Oct 11, 2018  Barley Street Tavern - Omaha, NE
Oct 12, 2018  The Legendary Boobie Trap Bar - Topeka, KS
Oct 13, 2018  Knuckleheads Saloon  - Kansas City, MO in the Gospel Lounge
Oct 14, 2018  Lefty’s Live Music  - Des Moines, IA
Oct 16, 2018  Lee's Liquor Lounge - Minneapolis, MN
Oct 18, 2018  Fretboard Brewing Company - Blue Ash, OH
Oct 19, 2018  FitzGerald's - Berwyn , IL in the SideBar Music Room
Oct 21, 2018  Chicago St. Pub - Joliet, IL
Oct 22, 2018  The Alamo - Springfield, IL
Oct 25, 2018  Blues City Deli - St. Louis, MO
Oct 26, 2018  Mercury Lounge - Tulsa, OK
Nov 03, 2018  The Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ
Nov 04, 2018  Malainey's Grill - Long Beach, CA
Nov 05, 2018  Maui Sugar Mill Saloon - Tarzana, CA
Nov 06, 2018  Thunderbird Analog Recording Studio - Oceanside, CA
Nov 07, 2018  The Torch Club - Sacramento, CA
Nov 10, 2018  Hermann’s Jazz Club - Victoria, BC, CANADA
Nov 16, 2018  Mikey's on 12th Avenue - Calgary, AB, CANADA
Nov 17, 2018  Blues at the Bow Bow Island - AB, CANADA at the Bow Theatre
Nov 21, 2018  Blues on Whyte - Edmonton  AB, CANADA
Nov 27, 2018  Nissi's - Lafayette, CO
Jan 25, 2019   BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups - St. Louis, MO
Jan 27, 2019   The Midway Tavern - Mishawaka, IN
Jan 30, 2019   Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill - Grand Rapids, MI
Apr 10, 2019   The Continental Club - Houston, TX
Apr 14, 2019   Daniel Day Gallery/Dream Mecca Studio - Birmingham, AL
Apr 17, 2019   Paradise Bar & Grill - Pensacola Beach, FL
Apr 18, 2019   Paradise Bar & Grill - Pensacola Beach, FL
Apr 20, 2019   Double Roads Tavern - Jupiter, FL
Apr 22, 2019   Earl's Hideaway - Sebastian, FL

Click here for the full story

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats Named Band Of The Year At 2018 Blue Blast Awards
10/1/2018
On Saturday, September 29, 2018, Blues Blast magazine announced the winners of the 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards in ceremonies held at the Tebala Event Center in Rockford, Illinois. Internationally beloved blues masters Rick Estrin & The Nightcats won the coveted award for Band Of The Year.

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats Named Band Of The Year At 2018 Blue Blast Awards

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats Named Band Of The Year At 2018 Blue Blast Awards

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, Blues Blast magazine announced the winners of the 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards in ceremonies held at the Tebala Event Center in Rockford, Illinois. Internationally beloved blues masters Rick Estrin & The Nightcats won the coveted award for Band Of The Year. The Blues Blast Music Awards are presented by Blues Blast magazine. Voting was open to subscriber to the online publication.

In addition to the Blues Blast Award, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats also hold the 2018 Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. Estrin also won Blues Music Awards for Song Of The Year (for The Blues Ain't Goin' Nowhere, from the band's latest CD, Groovin' In Greaseland) and for Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year.

 

Click here for the full story

Shemekia Copeland To Sing National Anthem at Giants Vs. Saints NFL Game On September 30
9/26/2018
Grammy-nominated singer Shemekia Copeland will perform the national anthem on Sunday, September 30 at the NFL game between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints.

Shemekia Copeland To Sing National Anthem at Giants Vs. Saints NFL Game On September 30

Shemekia Copeland To Sing National Anthem at Giants Vs. Saints NFL Game On September 30

Grammy-nominated singer Shemekia Copeland will perform the national anthem on Sunday, September 30 at the NFL game between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints. The game, broadcast live on CBS Television, begins at 4:25pm Eastern time at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Copeland is currently on tour, bringing music from her critically acclaimed, powerful new album, America’s Child(released August 3), to fans all across the country. NPR Music says Copeland is "head-turning and outspoken. America’s Child is a true hybrid of simmering, real-talking spirit and emphatic, folkie-and soul-style statement-making. Copeland sings slow-burning soul and rollicking country-blues with growling vigor and potent conviction."

Produced by Americana Instrumentalist Of The Year winner Will Kimbrough (who also plays guitar on the album) and recorded in Nashville, America's Child is a courageous and fiery statement of purpose, a major step forward for the singer whose musical consciousness continues to expand as her star continues to rise. With guests including John Prine, Rhiannon Giddens, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Steve Cropper, J.D. Wilkes, Al Perkins and members of the Time Jumpers, America’s Child bursts with Copeland’s bravado and embraces with her tenderness.

The Philadelphia Inquirer declares, "Shemekia Copeland is an antidote to artifice. She is a commanding presence, a powerhouse vocalist delivering the truth."

Click here for the full story

New Book By Alligator President Bruce Iglauer And Patrick A. Roberts Set For Oct. 30 Release
9/18/2018
Bitten by the BluesThe Alligator Records Story, the new book co-authored by Alligator Records president and founder Bruce Iglauer and Patrick A. Roberts, will be released on Tuesday, October 30 by The University of Chicago Press.

New Book By Alligator President Bruce Iglauer And Patrick A. Roberts Set For Oct. 30 Release

New Book By Alligator President Bruce Iglauer And Patrick A. Roberts Set For Oct. 30 Release

"I wouldn't be in this business if Bruce hadn't released those first two Hound Dog Taylor records.The fire Bruce captured on those records is the magic place I’m reaching for every time I’m in my studio."
--Dan Auerbach, The Black Keys

"Bruce and his history with Alligator Records encompass so much of the richest and most exciting eras of urban blues. All the fascinating stories and behind the scenes intrigues are here, and the indelible legacy of his commitment to this music and the artists he cares so passionately about makes this a terrific, important read."
--Bonnie Raitt

"Bruce is a true friend of the blues and independent music."
--Mavis Staples


Bitten by the BluesThe Alligator Records Story, the new book co-authored by Alligator Records president and founder Bruce Iglauer and Patrick A. Roberts, will be released on Tuesday, October 30 by The University of Chicago Press. The book is a memoir of a life immersed in the blues -- and the business of running an independent blues label. Bitten By The Blues takes readers behind the scenes, offering larger than life stories of musicians, recording sessions, and what it's like to work with the legends of the genre. 

From first hearing Hound Dog Taylor at Florence's Lounge on Chicago's South Side to building Alligator Records one release at a time to running the biggest blues label in the world, Iglauer and Roberts take readers on a 50-year journey through the blues from local Chicago bars to festival stages across the globe.

According to Iglauer, "We wanted to paint vivid pictures of the charismatic blues immortals that I knew so well, like Hound Dog Taylor, Son Seals, Koko Taylor and Albert Collins, as well as to give insight into the creative process of planning and recording some of their classic albums. And we wanted to give the readers a close-up look at the exciting and visionary artists who are carrying the Alligator tradition into the future, like Marcia Ball, Shemekia Copeland, Selwyn Birchwood and Toronzo Cannon. It's also an insider's look at how the independent record business has changed over the last 50 years, and how those changes have impacted the artists who create the music."

Lauren Salas, Senior Promotions Manager with The University of Chicago Press, says, "Bitten By The Blues is the story of an iconic company and its relentless founder...it's the story of the blues business, of building a company based on a passion for the blues, and the highs and lows of running an indie label. It's the story of blues in Chicago and around the world."


Bruce Iglauer is president and founder of Alligator Records, the largest contemporary blues label in the world. He is also a cofounder of Living Blues magazine and a founder of the Chicago Blues Festival.

Patrick A. Roberts is associate professor in the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. He is the coauthor of Give 'Em Soul, Richard! Race, Radio, and Rhythm and Blues in Chicago. 
 

Click here for the full story

Bluesman And Chicago Bus Driver Toronzo Cannon Featured In CTA Ad Campaign
9/17/2018
Electrifying blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and Chicago Transit Authority bus operator Toronzo Cannon is currently featured in a CTA ad campaign, with posters appearing in and on buses, at elevated train and subway stations and inside train cars.

Bluesman And Chicago Bus Driver Toronzo Cannon Featured In CTA Ad Campaign

Electrifying blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and Chicago Transit Authority bus operator Toronzo Cannon is currently featured in a CTA ad campaign, with posters appearing in and on buses, at elevated train and subway stations and inside train cars. The campaign features a dozen different CTA employees, referencing their interests and hobbies while focusing on their professional roles with the CTA.

Toronzo CTA Campaign


According to Brian Steele, Vice President, Communications and Marketing for the CTA, "The campaign was created to highlight CTA employees — specifically, their professionalism, training and commitment to customers."

For almost 25 years, Cannon has been driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus by day and performing his signature brand of electric Chicago blues by night. Using every vacation day and day off, Cannon arranges his schedule to gig out of town as much as possible, including many European performances. It isn't easy, but, like all of the Chicago greats who have come before him, blues is his calling. "I am proud to be part of a movement,” he says, anxious to hit the road and bring his music to new fans in new places. “I’m proud to be standing on the shoulders of every great Chicago blues musician who came before me."

His 2015 Alligator Records debut, THE CHICAGO WAY, helped Cannon become one of Chicago's most recognized and most popular bluesmen. MOJO magazine declared THE CHICAGO WAY the #1 Best Blues Album Of 2015. Cannon’s battled his way to the top of the ultra-competitive Windy City blues scene, has already played multiple tours of Europe and continues to deliver roof-raising performances around the U.S.A. Cannon won both the 2017 Living Blues Readers’ and Critics’ Awards for Blues Album Of the Year for THE CHICAGO WAY.

Chicago Magazine said, "The range of subjects he tackles is fascinating. People make a big deal of his being a bus driver, but his curiosity about the world goes way beyond that."

In 2016,Chicago television station WGN won an Emmy Award for this Toronzo Cannon feature story:
http://wgntv.com/2016/03/14/toronzo-cannon-blues-man-by-night-bus-driver-by-day/

Cannon is currently working on his next Alligator album, set for release later in 2019.

Click here for the full story