News


Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Appears on PBS NEWSHOUR On Wednesday, Nov. 11
11/11/2020
On Wednesday, November 11, five-time Blues Music Award winner and 2019 Grammy Award nominee Christone “Kingfish” Ingram appeared on nationwide television on PBS NewsHour.

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Appears on PBS NEWSHOUR On Wednesday, Nov. 11

Ingram is a strong, rockin’ blues musician – a traditionalist, basically, who can set fires with his guitar... ferocious, flabbergasting...meaty, serious, canonical.
--New York Times Magazine

A rising blues prodigy...a torchbearer.
 –NPR Music

Ingram is a slashing guitarist and handsome, forceful singer…subtle and surprising…skillfully composed...remarkable maturity.
--MOJO

On Wednesday, November 11, five-time Blues Music Award winner and 2019 Grammy Award nominee Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was featured on nationwide television on PBS NewsHour. The profile includes an interview with Ingram from the Delta Blues Museum in his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and shows his blistering guitar skills in action. PBS NewsHour has over 2.7 million daily viewers.

PBS NewsHour will air across the country at various times in different markets. Local PBS stations can be found here. Please note, that depending on current events, scheduling may change. Once broadcast, the piece will be available online.

Since the release of his Alligator debut Kingfish, the 21-year-old musician has earned mountains of praise from press, radio and fans alike. In addition to his Grammy nomination, he won five 2020 Blues Music Awards, including Album Of The Year, Best Guitarist and Best Emerging Artist. He also won four Living Blues Awards and two Blues Blast Awards. When not headlining his own tours, Ingram has performed with Buddy Guy, Vampire Weekend and Jason Isbell.

Kingfish debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues and Heatseekers charts. The song Fresh Out was the most played track in 2019 on Sirius/XM’s Bluesville channel. Songs from the album continue to receive regular airplay on radio stations around the world. Sir Elton John interviewed Kingfish on his Apple Beats podcast. Kingfish also appeared (honoring Buddy Guy) on PBS Television's Austin City Limits. NPR Music named him a 2020 Artist To Watch, and included Kingfish as one of the Best Debut Albums Of 2019. Tastemaker UK music magazine MOJO named Kingfish the #1 Blues Album of 2019. He recently performed a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert for NPR Music.

Click here for the full story

Wall Street Journal Reviews Shemekia Copeland's UNCIVIL WAR
11/2/2020
On Tuesday, November 2, 2020, the Wall Street Journal's Barry Mazor reviewed Shemekia Copeland's new album, Uncivil War.

Wall Street Journal Reviews Shemekia Copeland's UNCIVIL WAR

'Uncivil War' by Shemekia Copeland Review:
Bold and Timely Blues
The singer’s album joins unyielding calls for justice with hope for reconciliation.

WALL STREET JOURNAL
By Barry Mazor
Nov. 2, 2020


Shemekia Copeland was performing in 1989, at age 10, and by her teens was opening for her father, Texas blues star Johnny Copeland; she released the first of her 10 consistently lauded and awarded albums in 1998. Her commanding, R&B-inflected voice and consummate song readings have taken her to the top of the contemporary blues field, and in 2011 she was literally handed the crown Koko Taylor had held as “Queen of the Blues” at the Chicago Blues Festival.

Ms. Copeland’s ferocious vocal power is noted and praised so often that it’s possible to miss the sweet-tempered, kindhearted nature that lies not far from that surface—a trait she shares with soul queen Mavis Staples. Her firm but affable temperament has helped make Ms. Copeland an adept ambassador for blues and R&B—most recently as the charming host of this year’s virtual Blues Music Awards and of her own weekly SiriusXM radio show, “B.B. King’s Bluesville.” Coupled with her musical flexibility and ambition, that disposition also contributed to her reaching out from the blues world to the broader Americana audience, with one of 2018’s strongest albums in that boundary-busting field, the Nashville-produced “America’s Child” (Alligator Records). That collection’s tone was set by its sharp, pounding opening number, “Ain’t Got Time for Hate.”

Oct. 23 marked the release of her Covid-delayed follow-up album, “Uncivil War” (Alligator), which like “America’s Child” features a number of songs written to order and mood for Ms. Copeland by her manager, John Hahn, and the album’s producer, the in-demand singer-songwriter and guitar ace Will Kimbrough. It’s a testament to the regard in which musicians hold her, and the breadth of sounds incorporated in the music, that the flabbergasting array of rock, soul, country and blues guitarists on the set includes—in addition to Mr. Kimbrough—Jason Isbell, Steve Cropper, Duane Eddy, Jerry Douglas, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Webb Wilder.

That Ms. Copeland continues to be both unyielding in her calls for justice—personal and social—and hopeful about the possibilities for reconciliation seems positively gutsy in this time of division and, as the title song puts it, frequent “uncivility.” The ferocious side is heard, for example, in the opening track, “Clotilda’s on Fire,“ as she relates the story of the last slave ship to arrive on these shores, in 1859. (Its sunken hulk was found in Mobile Bay in 2019.) “We’re still livin’,” she reminds us, and then adds, after a telling pause, “with her ghost.” The singer’s determination and the album’s step-by-step march toward some encouraging resolution are marked by the very next track, “Walk Until I Ride,” which is in the uplifting mode of 1960s civil-rights movement soul anthems, and the folk-rock-influenced title track that follows that. “How long must we fight this uncivil war,” she asks, “the same old wounds that we opened before?... Nobody wins…an uncivil war.”

While these new numbers are forceful, it’s the recording’s cover songs that especially reveal the album’s broad intentions. “Give God the Blues,” a trenchant work featuring an irresistible bass line, observes that “God don’t hate the Muslims; God don’t hate the Jews, God don’t hate the Christians—but we all give God the blues.” Its three songwriters—Shawn Mullins, Phil Madeira and Chuck Cannon—have all recorded it previously; the Shemekia Copeland take is at once cheeky, blues-inflected and especially pointed. Power in personal relationships is dealt with just as boldly. Her slow, deliberate take on Junior Parker’s 1961 R&B hit “In the Dark” lets the cheating, drinking culprit know, in no uncertain terms, that he’ll face a reckoning sooner or later. (Mr. Cropper’s guitar sears on this one, as Mr. Isbell’s does on the opening track.) And for some gender-bending table turning, we’re provided a triumphant, soulful version of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.” That song has often been singled out as a particularly outrageous demonstration of sexism; the Copeland version reminds us that it’s perfectly possible for a woman to sing this “now I’m in charge” song to a man—and that it exemplifies a mood, not necessarily a life philosophy.

Most telling of all is the album closer, a very sweet, exuberant take on “Love Song,” an original by Ms. Copeland’s father. It at once expresses love for him, for the blues, and for getting together with friends to sing. It provides an upbeat, touching resolution to the consequential ride that this powerful set takes us on.

Click here for the full story

Shemekia Copeland To Be Featured On NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" On October 31
10/30/2020
On October 31, NPR News' Weekend Edition Saturday will air an in-depth story about the recently discovered slave ship Clotilda, featuring multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland and her powerful new song, Clotilda's On Fire.

Shemekia Copeland To Be Featured On NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" On October 31

Clotilda's On Fire, Powerful Lead Track From New Album, Uncivil War, Is Centerpiece Of Story On Recently Discovered Slave Ship


This is a masterful record. Finally we have the album that her voice has always deserved.
—Sound Opinions (National radio show hosted by Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis)

Uncivil War is one of the boldest and most persuasive recordings of Copeland’s already distinguished career. Copeland’s incendiary and positively buoyant vocals [are] one of the great instruments in contemporary blues. A triumph.—The Chicago Tribune (Howard Reich)

Copeland possesses a formidable voice that perfectly fits the music. Adventurous and wonderful....A joyful mix of blues, soul and acoustic roots. —The Houston Chronicle (Andrew Dansby)

On October 31, NPR News' Weekend Edition Saturday will air an in-depth story about the recently discovered slave ship Clotilda, featuring multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland and her powerful new song, Clotilda's On Fire. The six-minute piece, by award-winning NPR News national correspondent Debbie Elliott, includes interviews with Copeland, Will Kimbrough (producer and co-writer), and Americana superstar guitarist Jason Isbell, who plays on the recording.

The true, torn-from-history song Clotilda's On Fire -- the lead track from Copeland's celebrated new album, Uncivil War (released on October 23) -- tells the story of the very last slave ship to arrive in America (in Mobile Bay, Alabama) in 1859, 50 years after the slave trade was banned. The ship—burned and sunk by the captain to destroy the evidence—was finally discovered in 2019. The song—featuring Alabama native Isbell playing ferocious blues guitar—is a hair-raising look at living American history delivered with power, tenderness, and jaw-dropping intensity.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR member stations across the United States, and around the world on NPR Worldwide.

Uncivil War—recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm—is a career-defining album for Copeland. The topical title track is a courageous plea for unity in a time of disunion. With songs addressing gun violence (Apple Pie And A .45), civil rights (the Staple Singers-esque message song, Walk Until I Ride), lost friends (the Dr. John tribute Dirty Saint), bad love (Junior Parker’s In The Dark) as well as good (Love Song, by her father, legendary bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland), Uncivil War is far-reaching, soul-searching and timeless. Guests on Uncivil War include legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, Grammy-nominated young guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas, and The Orphan Brigade providing background vocals.

American Songwriter said, "Few voices can command a room like Shemekia Copeland's....soulful, passionate, and powerful....She comes in like a tornado, whips you around, and leaves you breathless. Her presence may be soothing [but] her voice can destroy you....unifying messages of connectivity and compassion....Uncivil War is lush and confrontational and demands to be heard."

Click here for the full story

NPR Music Premieres Christone "Kingfish" Ingram's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
10/20/2020
On Tuesday, October 20, NPR Music premiered award-winning blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert performance.

NPR Music Premieres Christone "Kingfish" Ingram's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

 Four Songs Recorded at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi

Flashing brilliance...this Grammy-nominated singer and guitarist from Clarksdale, Miss., has risen to critical acclaim and packed venues across the nation. Kingfish blends Delta blues with contemporary melodies that resonate with blues lovers new and old.
--NPR Music, Tiny Desk (Home) Concert


On Tuesday, October 20, NPR Music premiered award-winning blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert performance. The tracks were recorded at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Ingram's native Clarksdale, Mississippi, with Paul Rogers on bass. Three of the songs -- Fresh Out, Outside Of This Town and Listen -- were first recorded on his Grammy-nominated 2019 debut album, Kingfish. The fourth song, Rock & Roll, was originally released in July 2020 as a digital single, and is a moving tribute to Ingram's late mother, Princess Pride.

Watch the full performance here: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/20/923049270/kingfish-tiny-desk-home-concert


Since the release of Kingfish, the 21-year-old musician has earned mountains of praise from press, radio and fans alike. In addition to his Grammy nomination, he won five 2020 Blues Music Awards, including Album Of The Year, Best Guitarist and Best Emerging Artist. He also won four Living Blues Awards and two Blues Blast Awards. In addition to headlining his own tours, Ingram has performed with Buddy Guy, Vampire Weekend and Jason Isbell. Kingfish debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues and Heatseekers charts.The song Fresh Out was the most played track in 2019 on Sirius/XM’s Bluesville channel. Songs from the album continue to receive regular airplay on radio stations around the world. Sir Elton John interviewed Kingfish on his Apple Beats podcast. Kingfish also appeared (honoring Buddy Guy) on PBS Television's Austin City Limits. NPR Music named him a 2020 Artist To Watch, and included Kingfish as one of the Best Debut Albums Of 2019. Tastemaker UK music magazine MOJO named Kingfish the #1 Blues Album of 2019.


Ingram made his Tiny Desk debut in 2018 at age 19, backing hip-hop icon Rakim. Upon release of Kingfish, NPR Music called his playing "astounding" saying, "He breathes mighty new life into worn-out guitar-showman clichés….he makes literally every solo a dramatic event. It’s almost like he’s singing through the guitar."

 

Click here for the full story

Shemekia Copeland's UNCIVIL WAR Receives Rave Review On Sound Opinions
10/19/2020
Uncivil War, the new album from multiple Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland, set for release on Friday, October 23, received a rave review from critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis on their nationally syndicated radio show and podcast, Sound Opinions.

Shemekia Copeland's UNCIVIL WAR Receives Rave Review On Sound Opinions

SHEMEKIA COPELAND'S UNCIVIL WAR RECEIVES RAVE REVIEW ON SOUND OPINIONS

"This is a masterful record. Finally we have the album that her voice has always deserved."

Uncivil War, the new album from multiple Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland, set for release on Friday, October 23, received a rave review from critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis on their nationally syndicated radio show and podcast, Sound Opinions. Sound Opinions airs on over 100 public radio stations nationwide, as well as being available as a podcast on all of the popular services including Spotify and Apple Music. Listen to the full seven minute review here, with the review starting at the beginning of the show:
https://soundopinions.org/show/777

Among the highlights of the review:

"Clotilda’s On Fire: What a song it is. An indication of the topicality, the passion, the social commentary. Shemekia does not shy away from what’s going on in the world and what got us here."

"Walk Until I Ride: A civil rights anthem if I ever heard one. The best Staple Singers song the Staples never gave us."

"Shemekia addresses key issues in America with her big voice, big heart, a lot of passion and a lot of fire. She continues to grow as a singer and as an artist. The genre diversity is so welcome. I’ve never heard her this deep, this broad in terms of influence. Her genre agnosticism echoes Emmylou Harris and Rhiannon Giddens."

Uncivil War—recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm—is a career-defining album for Copeland. The topical title track is a courageous plea for unity in a time of disunion. With songs addressing gun violence (Apple Pie And A .45), civil rights (the Staple Singers-esque message song, Walk Until I Ride), lost friends (the Dr. John tribute Dirty Saint), bad love (Junior Parker’s In The Dark) as well as good (Love Song, by her father, legendary bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland), Uncivil War is far-reaching, soul-searching and timeless. Guests on Uncivil War include legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, Americana superstar Jason Isbell, Grammy-nominated young guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas, and The Orphan Brigade providing background vocals.

Of the new album Copeland says, “I’m trying to put the ‘united’ back in the United States. Like many people, I miss the days when we treated each other better. For me, this country’s all about people with differences coming together to be part of something we all love. That’s what really makes America beautiful.”

Click here for the full story

MEMPHIS MUSIC HALL OF FAME LAUNCHES CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE TRIBUTE PAGE
10/8/2020
Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, a 2019 Memphis Music Hall Of Fame inductee, has been honored with a special tribute page on the organization's website.

MEMPHIS MUSIC HALL OF FAME LAUNCHES CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE TRIBUTE PAGE

Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, a 2019 Memphis Music Hall Of Fame inductee, has been honored with a special tribute page on the organization's website.

The Hall Of Fame created this page as part of Memphis Music Month, in lieu of an in-person induction ceremony.

View the page here

Musselwhite’s latest album with his friend and fellow blues giant Elvin Bishop, 100 Years Of Blues, is already being hailed as one of the best blues releases of the year.

Click here for the full story

Shemekia Copeland Premieres Video For New Song, "Clotilda's On Fire"
10/5/2020
On Monday, October 5, multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland premieres her video for Clotilda's On Fire. The true, torn-from-history song -- the lead track from her highly anticipated new album, Uncivil War, set for October 23 release -- tells of the very last slave ship to arrive in America (in Mobile Bay, Alabama) in 1859, 50 years after the slave trade was banned.

Shemekia Copeland Premieres Video For New Song, "Clotilda's On Fire"

"Shemekia Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar...She can do no wrong" –Rolling Stone

"Shemekia Copeland’s voice is rich, soulful and totally commanding...authoritative, passionate and raw" –MOJO

"Copeland provides a soundtrack for contemporary America...powerful, ferocious, clear-eyed and hopeful...She’s in such control of her voice that she can scream at injustices before she soothes with loving hope. It sends shivers up your spine." –Living Blues

On Monday, October 5, multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland premieres her video for Clotilda's On Fire. The true, torn-from-history song -- the lead track from her highly anticipated new album, Uncivil War, set for October 23 release -- tells of the very last slave ship to arrive in America (in Mobile Bay, Alabama) in 1859, 50 years after the slave trade was banned. The ship—burned and sunk by the captain to destroy the evidence—was finally discovered in 2019. The song—featuring Alabama native Jason Isbell playing ferocious blues guitar—is a hair-raising look at living American history delivered with power, tenderness, and jaw-dropping intensity. The video, put together by Copeland and her team, underlines the undying legacy of racism that has sparked protests around the world.

Watch the video here:


Clotilda's On Fire will also be available to stream on all the major streaming services beginning October 5.

Uncivil War—recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm—is a career-defining album for Copeland. The topical title track is a courageous plea for unity in a time of disunion. With songs addressing gun violence (Apple Pie And A .45), civil rights (the Staple Singers-esque message song, Walk Until I Ride), lost friends (the Dr. John tribute Dirty Saint), bad love (Junior Parker’s In The Dark) as well as good (Love Song, by her father, legendary bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland), Uncivil War is far-reaching, soul-searching and timeless. Guests on Uncivil War include legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, Grammy-nominated young guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas, and The Orphan Brigade providing background vocals. 

Of the new album Copeland says, “I’m trying to put the ‘united’ back in the United States. Like many people, I miss the days when we treated each other better. For me, this country’s all about people with differences coming together to be part of something we all love. That’s what really makes America beautiful.”

The Chicago Tribune’s famed jazz critic Howard Reich says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today. She pushes the genre forward, confronting racism, hate, xenophobia and other perils of our time. Regardless of subject matter, though, there’s no mistaking the majesty of Copeland’s instrument, nor the ferocity of her delivery. In effect, Copeland reaffirms the relevance of the blues.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer succinctly states, “Shemekia Copeland is an antidote to artifice. She is a commanding presence, a powerhouse vocalist delivering the truth.”

Click here for the full story

Three Alligator Artists Receive Four 2020 Blues Blast Awards
9/15/2020

Blues Blast magazine has announced the winners for the 2020 Blues Blast Awards. Three Alligator Records artists received a total of four top awards.

Three Alligator Artists Receive Four 2020 Blues Blast Awards

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Wins Two Top Awards
Coco Montoya and Nick Moss Each Win One

Blues Blast magazine has announced the winners for the 2020 Blues Blast Awards. Three Alligator Records artists received a total of four top awards. Christone "Kigfish" Ingram won Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year (for Kingfish) as well as Male Artist Of The Year. The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling won Traditional Blues Album Of The Year (for Lucky Guy!), and Coco Montoya won for Rock Blues Album Of The Year (for Coming In Hot).

 

Click here for the full story

Singer Shemekia Copeland Releases New Album, UNCIVIL WAR, On October 23
9/8/2020
Alligator Records is pleased to announce the October 23, 2020 release of Uncivil War, the riveting new album by recently-named 2020 Living Blues Female Artist Of The Year and multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland.

Singer Shemekia Copeland Releases New Album, UNCIVIL WAR, On October 23

"Shemekia Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar...She can do no wrong"
–Rolling Stone

"Shemekia Copeland’s voice is rich, soulful and totally commanding...authoritative, passionate and raw"
–MOJO

"Copeland provides a soundtrack for contemporary America...powerful, ferocious, clear-eyed and hopeful...She’s in such control of her voice that she can scream at injustices before she soothes with loving hope. It sends shivers up your spine."
–Living Blues

Alligator Records is pleased to announce the October 23, 2020 release of Uncivil War, the riveting new album by recently-named 2020 Living Blues Female Artist Of The Year and multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland. Uncivil War builds on the musically and lyrically adventurous territory she’s been exploring for over a decade, blending blues, R&B and Americana into a sound that is now hers alone.

The soulful and uncompromising Uncivil War tackles the problems of contemporary American life head on, with nuance, understanding, and a demand for change. It also brings Copeland’s fiercely independent, sultry R&B fire to songs more personal than political. NPR Music calls Shemekia “authoritative” and “confrontational” with “punchy defiance and potent conviction. It’s hard to imagine anyone staking a more convincing claim to the territory she’s staked out—a true hybrid of simmering, real-talking spirit and emphatic, folkie- and soul-style statement-making.”

Uncivil War—recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm—is a career-defining album for Copeland. Among the most striking songs on the album are the true, torn-from-history story of the last slave ship to reach America, Clotilda’s On Fire, and the topical title track, a courageous plea for unity in a time of disunion. With songs addressing gun violence (Apple Pie And A .45), civil rights (the Staple Singers-esque message song, Walk Until I Ride), lost friends (the Dr. John tribute Dirty Saint), bad love (Junior Parker’s In The Dark) as well as good (Love Song, by her father, legendary bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland), Uncivil War is far-reaching, soul-searching and timeless. Guests on Uncivil War include Americana superstar Jason Isbell, legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, Grammy-nominated young guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas, and The Orphan Brigade providing background vocals.

Of the new album Copeland says, “I’m trying to put the ‘united’ back in the United States. Like many people, I miss the days when we treated each other better. For me, this country’s all about people with differences coming together to be part of something we all love. That’s what really makes America beautiful.”

When Shemekia first broke on the scene with her jaw-dropping Alligator Records debut CD Turn The Heat Up, she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. With each subsequent release -- Uncivil War is her ninth album -- Copeland’s music has evolved. She continues to broaden her musical vision, melding blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds, and singing about the world around her, shining light in dark places with confidence and well-timed humor. Her recordings have won her worldwide acclaim and dozens of awards. Her previous album, America’s Child, featuring a duet with John Prine and accompaniment from Mary Gauthier and Rhiannon Giddens (among others), was named by MOJO magazine as the #1 blues release of 2018. In addition to her three Grammy nominations, Copeland has won a total of 12 Blues Music Awards and more than 20 Living Blues Awards over the course of her career.

Shemekia Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world, and has appeared in films, on national television, NPR, and in magazine and newspapers. She’s sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Dr. John, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Jeff Beck calls her “amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent...a diamond.” In 2012, she performed with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, Gary Clark, Jr. and others at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. She has performed on PBS’s Austin City Limits and was recently the subject of a six-minute feature on the PBS News Hour. Currently, Copeland can be heard hosting her own popular daily blues radio show on SiriusXM’s Bluesville.

The Chicago Tribune’s famed jazz critic Howard Reich says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today. She pushes the genre forward, confronting racism, hate, xenophobia and other perils of our time. Regardless of subject matter, though, there’s no mistaking the majesty of Copeland’s instrument, nor the ferocity of her delivery. In effect, Copeland reaffirms the relevance of the blues.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer succinctly states, “Shemekia Copeland is an antidote to artifice. She is a commanding presence, a powerhouse vocalist delivering the truth.”

Click here for the full story

Five Alligator Artists Receive 10 Living Blues Awards
9/1/2020
Living Blues magazine has announced the winners for the 27th Annual Living Blues Awards (2020). Five Alligator Records artists received a total of ten Critics' and Readers' Poll awards.

Five Alligator Artists Receive 10 Living Blues Awards

Living Blues magazine has announced the winners for the 27th Annual Living Blues Awards (2020). Five Alligator Records artists received a total of ten Critics' and Readers' Poll awards.

Rising star guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram won the Critics' Poll for Best Blues Album Of 2019 as well as for Best Debut Album for Kingfish.

Singing sensation Shemekia Copeland won the Critics' Poll for Blues Artist Of The Year.

Harmonica master Billy Branch won the Critics' Poll Awards for Best New Recording/Comtemporary Blues for his album Roots And Branches--A Tribute To Little Walter. He also took the award for Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica).

Legendary pianist/vocalist Marcia Ball won both the Critics' Poll and the Readers' Poll for Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboards).

And iconic harmonica giant Charlie Musselwhite won the Readers' Poll for Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica).

Click here for the full story

Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite -- New Album 100 YEARS OF BLUES -- Coming Sept 25
8/10/2020
Alligator Records is pleased to announce the September 25, 2020 release of 100 Years Of Blues, the first-ever album by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame guitarist Elvin Bishop and Grammy-winning harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite.

Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite -- New Album 100 YEARS OF BLUES -- Coming Sept 25

BLUES ICONS ELVIN BISHOP AND CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE TO RELEASE NEW ALLIGATOR RECORDS ALBUM, 100 YEARS OF BLUES, ON SEPTEMBER 25

ROLLING STONE:
Elvin Bishop is a legendary guitarist…impeccable and spirited…a distinguished American player.
Charlie Musselwhite, with unabashed excellence, sets the standard for blues harmonica.

Alligator Records is pleased to announce the September 25, 2020 release of 100 Years Of Blues, the first-ever album by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame guitarist Elvin Bishop and Grammy-winning harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite. 100 Years Of Blues is front-porch, down-home music with Bishop and Musselwhite trading licks and vocals on 12 rootsy, spirited songs, mixing nine originals with three reimagined classics.

The two history-making musicians – both Blues Hall Of Famers – are blues legends with over 100 years of professional musicianship between them. They are among the most famous bluesmen in the world. Although they’ve known each other since the early 1960s and recorded as guests with John Lee Hooker (and other friends), this is the first time that they ever teamed up to make a full record. According to Musselwhite, "This is us sitting down to play the music that we love and resonating together effortlessly because we’re 'coming from the same place'...on many levels."

The idea for the album was sparked in 2017 when the two icons laid down the original version of the song 100 Years Of Blues for Bishop’s Big Fun Trio album. They realized that, with their soul-deep understanding of the blues, they had a special musical chemistry between them. In 2019, Bishop and Musselwhite played a series of stripped-down shows – along with their mutual friend, master pianist/guitarist Bob Welsh – swapping songs and telling stories. The audiences went wild, and Elvin and Charlie had so much fun they knew they had to capture the magic in the studio.

100 Years Of Blues is blues at its deepest, warmest and most engaging. “It all fell together so quickly and easily,” says Bishop. “We each brought about half the songs and recorded them all in one or two takes.” As for his cohorts, Bishop says, “Charlie is the real deal. He didn’t learn his licks off of records; he lived them. He’s always himself. And Bob Welsh is so versatile on guitar and piano. When you play with people who are real good, it ups your game too. I just did the best job I could.” Of Bishop, Musselwhite says, “Elvin is always a joy to play music with. We see things pretty much the same. Musically it’s like fallin’ off a log. It’s so easy and it just makes sense.” 

The album was recorded at Kid Andersen’s Greaseland Studios and Bishop’s Hog Heaven Studios in northern California. It was produced by Andersen and co-produced by Bishop, Musselwhite and Welsh. The laid-back, spontaneous nature of 100 Years Of Blues highlights the heartfelt passion of each performance. The richly detailed, autobiographical title track (freshly recorded for this album) tells Elvin’s and Charlie’s tales with sly good humor, recalling specific times and locations in their amazingly colorful lives. The potent What The Hell? finds Bishop taking on current events, winking an eye while speaking truth to power. Throughout the album, the interplay of guitar, vocals, harmonica and piano is virtually telepathic.

Both Bishop and Musselwhite got their start in the early 1960s on Chicago’s blues-rich South Side. Bishop, from Oklahoma, befriended and was taught by guitarist Little Smokey Smothers. Musselwhite, from Memphis, was mentored by his pals Delta bluesman Big Joe Williams and harmonica master Big Walter Horton. Although they were young, white newcomers, Bishop and Musselwhite were accepted by the Black blues fans and by the established musicians because they were, like the bluesmen themselves, “from down home", and also because they played the blues with real feeling. As Musselwhite explains, “It was great the way Elvin and I were not only welcomed but also encouraged by the blues giants of the day. When I first got to Chicago I was content just to hang out and socialize and listen to the great blues, but when Muddy Waters found out I played harmonica, he insisted that I sit in. That changed everything, because other musicians heard me and started offering me gigs. Boy, did that get me focused. I might not’ve ever had a career in music if men like Muddy hadn’t been so welcoming and encouraging.” Young Elvin was also welcomed onto South Side bandstands, gigging with Hound Dog Taylor, Junior Wells and J.T. Brown.

Both men went on to win fame by introducing blues music to the rock and roll audience – Bishop with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and his own genre-bending Elvin Bishop Group, and Musselwhite with his wide-ranging and influential recordings as leader of his own band. Both performed with and made friends with countless blues giants. They immersed themselves in the blues tradition before blazing their own trails, beginning with their initial recordings. As Bishop and Musselwhite began adventurously expanding the boundaries of the genre, the new audience eagerly went along for the ride. Although they had only occasionally crossed paths in Chicago, by the late 1960s -- after Musselwhite and then Bishop relocated to California -- they began regularly running into each other and became occasional fishing buddies. In the 1980s, they toured Hawaii together. In 2002, they headlined a national tour of performing arts centers, further cementing their friendship.

Since then, Bishop and Musselwhite have continued touring with their own bands and creating critically acclaimed, award-winning music. Their stories – rich as they already are – are still being written, and this album is a new chapter. Their subtle, soulful musicianship and relaxed, conversational vocals fuel every song. Infused with their deep understanding of the blues tradition mixed with the good-time spirit these two old pals stir up, 100 Years Of Blues is one of the finest, most memorable recordings of either artist’s career.

Click here for the full story

2020 BLUES – NEW MUSIC FROM ALLIGATOR RECORDS Set for August 21 Release
7/28/2020
Alligator Records will release 2020 Blues -- New Music From Alligator Records on Friday, August 21, 2020. The digital-only sampler features fresh material from five to-be-released full albums. The set includes new songs from blues legends Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite (joining forces), award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland, rising star guitarist and lap steel master Selwyn Birchwood, blues and R&B icon Curtis Salgado and the newest member of the Alligator family, world-renowned guitarist Chris Cain.

2020 BLUES – NEW MUSIC FROM ALLIGATOR RECORDS Set for August 21 Release

New Songs From Upcoming Albums by Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite, Shemekia Copeland, Selwyn Birchwood, Curtis Salgado and Chris Cain

Alligator Records will release 2020 Blues -- New Music From Alligator Records on Friday, August 21, 2020. The digital-only sampler features fresh material from five to-be-released full albums. The set includes new songs from blues legends Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite (joining forces), award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland, rising star guitarist and lap steel master Selwyn Birchwood, blues and R&B icon Curtis Salgado and the newest member of the Alligator family, world-renowned guitarist Chris Cain.

Track List:
1) CHRIS CAIN, I Believe I Got Off Cheap. From Raising Cain, due early 2021.
Alligator's newest signing is a virtuoso guitarist, fan-favorite, and four-decade touring veteran of the international blues scene. He's a beloved musician's musician who has recorded 14 previous albums. None other than B.B. King declared, "Now that boy can PLAY the guitar." Guitar Player said, "Cain is an impressive, top-notch guitarist. His full-bodied tone and big voice pack a punch that had me reeling.”


2) SELWYN BIRCHWOOD, Living In A Burning House. From Living In A Burning House, due early 2021.
Birchwood's searing guitar and lap steel work, along with his incisive, hook-filled songs and pin-you-to-the-wall vocals, places him among the very best of the new generation of bluesmen. Rolling Stone says, "Birchwood is a remarkable, contemporary bluesman...a powerhouse young guitarist and soulful vocalist. A major player...highly recommended.”

3) SHEMEKIA COPELAND, Uncivil War. From Uncivil War, due later in 2020.
Originally released as a single in June, 2020 (which was world-premiered by SiriusXM Bluesville radio), the topical song Uncivil War has already made an impact. Rolling Stone praises it as "Blues queen Shemekia Copeland's rootsy message song about the divided states of America. Her gospel-tinged vocal is there to soothe and defuse, reminding us that it’s time to listen to one another and, ultimately, come together."

4) CURTIS SALGADO, The Longer That I Live. From Damage Control, due early 2021.
The always true-to-himself, musically adventurous vocalist and harmonica player Salgado -- called an "icon" with a "huge voice" by NPR Music -- delivers one of his most humorously honest original songs with The Longer That I Live. The hard-hitting track is as soulful and memorable as anything he's recorded on his 10 previous albums. Blues Music Magazine says, “Salgado inspires chills. Upbeat and original...poignant and wise with a great sense of humor.”

5) ELVIN BISHOP & CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE, What The Hell?. From 100 Years Of Blues, set for September 25, 2020 release.

On their first-ever album together, the stripped-down 100 Years Of Blues, Bishop and Musselwhite (along with guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh) bring it all back home with some of the warmest and most engaging music of their equally storied careers. Elvin and Charlie tell their musical tales with top-shelf musicianship and sly good humor. The potent What The Hell? finds Bishop taking on current events, winking an eye while speaking truth to power.

Click here for the full story