ALLIGATOR RECORDING ARTISTS MAVIS STAPLES AND ELVIN BISHOP TO PERFORM DURING THE 47TH GRAMMY AWARDS
Alligator Records recording artists Mavis Staples and Elvin Bishop will both perform during the 47th Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles at The Staples Center on Sunday, February 13.
ALLIGATOR RECORDS RE-SIGNS GUITARIST/VOCALIST TINSLEY ELLIS!
Alligator Records is pleased to announce the return of guitarist/ vocalist/ songwriter Tinsley Ellis to the label. Ellis first recorded for Alligator in 1988. He recorded five albums for the label before recording for the Capricorn and Telarc labels. The new relationship will kick off with Ellis recording two nights of live performances (March 25 and 26, 2005) at Chord On Blues in St. Charles, IL, a suburb of Chicago, for his new Alligator CD. Due out in early summer, 2005, this will be Ellis' first live album, and is one, according to Ellis, that his fans have long been waiting for.
GUITARIST/VOCALIST SON SEALS 1942 - 2004
W.C. Handy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated master Chicago bluesman Son Seals, 62, died Monday, December 20 in Chicago, IL from complications due to diabetes. The critically acclaimed, younger generation guitarist, vocalist and songwriter – credited with redefining Chicago blues for a new audience in the 1970s -- was known for his intense, razor-sharp guitar work, gruff singing style and his charismatic stage presence. According to “Guitar World,” “Seals carves guitar licks like a chain saw through solid oak and sings like a grainy-voiced avenging angel.” Seals released 11 albums during his 30-year recording career and toured worldwide.
THIRTEEN ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 25 W.C. HANDY BLUES AWARD NOMINATIONS!
The Blues Foundation today announced the nominees for the 26th Annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards. Thirteen Alligator recording artists received a total of 25 nominations. Soul/blues/gospel greats The Holmes Brothers lead all nominees with six nods (three band nominations and three individual nominations), followed by gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples with four. Other nominees include W.C. Clark with three, Guitar Shorty, and Marcia Ball with two each, and Billy Branch & Kenny Neal, Carey & Lurrie Bell, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Shemekia Copeland, Hound Dog Taylor, Roomful of Blues, Andra Faye (of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women) and Koko Taylor with one apiece. In the coveted Blues Album of the Year category, Alligator artists received a stunning four of the five nominations.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE PICKS CAREY & LURRIE BELL’S “SECOND NATURE” AS TOP BLUES CD OF 2004
Chicago Tribune critic Steve Knopper chose Carey and Lurrie Bell’s 2004 Alligator release, “Second Nature” as the year’s top blues CD. The album, recoded in Finland in 1991 and released this year, is a favorite among fans and critics. In his review, Knopper said the CD was a “subtle, acoustic-blues classic.” Earlier this year, “The Chicago Sun-Times” declared, “There are no finer two-generation blues tandems that harpist Carey and his guitarist son Lurrie.”
CHICAGO TRIBUNE NAMES MAVIS STAPLES “CHICAGOAN OF THE YEAR”
Chicago Tribune rock critic Greg Kot has chosen gospel/soul great Mavis Staples as “Chicagoan of the Year,” in a story that will run on Sunday, December 26. Staples recently received a Grammy nomination for her duet with Dr. John on the song "Lay My Burden Down," from Dr. John’s "N’awlinz Dis Dat Or D’udda." Mavis is also the featured artist performing “Hard Times Come Again No More” from the Grammy nominated album “Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs of Stephen Foster.”
THE HOLMES BROTHERS APPEAR ON COVER OF “BLUES REVUE” MAGAZINE
The Holmes Brothers (brothers Wendell and Sherman Holmes and Popsy Dixon) appear on the cover of the current issue of “Blues Revue” magazine (issue #91 Dec/Jan 2005). The story, written by Tom Callahan, features in-depth interviews with all three men and many new photographs as well. In other Holmes Brothers news, the song "I've Been A Loser,” written by Wendell Holmes, appears on the critically acclaimed, award-winning HBO drama "The Wire" (in the episode titled "All Due Respect"), which had it's initial airdate on September 26. The popular NBC-TV series "Crossing Jordan" used The Holmes Brothers rendition of "Need Somebody On Your Bond" at the close of the episode titled "Deja Past," which aired October 17. The song also appears on the Crossing Jordan Soundtrack CD on Sony/DMZ. The USA Network TV special, "Willie Nelson: Outlaws and Angels," which includes The Holmes Brothers performing “Opportunity To Cry” in a duet with Nelson, is now released on CD on Lost Highway and on DVD on Eagle Rock Entertainment.
MAVIS STAPLES IN THE NEWS AND ON THE AIR
Gospel/soul mega-star Mavis Staples will be all over the media in the coming months, from print to radio to in-flight entertainment. The Grammy-nominated singer has been undergoing a career renaissance since the release of her Alligator CD, “Have A Little Faith,” in August 2004.
QUEEN OF THE BLUES KOKO TAYLOR TO RECEIVE 2005 HISTORY MAKERS AWARD
Grammy Award winning blues belter Koko Taylor will receive the coveted History Makers Award from Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History. The award, presented on February 19, 2005 at the Museum’s annual “Night of 1000 Stars,” honors African American Chicagoans who have made outstanding contributions to society through their professions and civic responsibilities.
ALLIGATOR RECORDS DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY MARC LIPKIN TO RECEIVE 2005 KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE AWARD
The Blues Foundation will present Alligator Records Director of Publicity Marc Lipkin with a 2005 Keeping The Blues Alive Award (KBA) for “Publicist of the Year.” Lipkin, a 12-year veteran of the label, becomes the first-ever recipient of the award in this newly created category. Since 1980, the KBAs have been presented to a wide variety of individuals, including club owners, journalists, photographers, advertisers, educators, radio stations, producers and record labels.
ALLIGATOR ARTISTS MUSIC ON TELEVISION AND IN FILM
A long list of Alligator recording artists’ music will be heard in a host of upcoming television programs and theatrical films.
MICHAEL “IRON MAN” BURKS RECEIVES 2004 “LIVING BLUES” AWARD
“Living Blues” magazine named guitarist/vocalist Michael Burks “Most Outstanding Musician – Guitar” in its 2004 Critic’s Poll. Burks’ two Alligator CDs, MAKE IT RAIN and I SMELL SMOKE, along with non-stop touring, has helped him win over thousands of fans both domestically and internationally with his fiery fretwork and soulful, smoky vocals. “GuitarOne” magazine said Burks is “An immensely talented guitarist and singer who will singe the whiskers right off your face.”