News


MAVIS STAPLES AT THE JAMMYS!
5/5/2005
Legendary soul/gospel singer Mavis Staples is back in the headlines, with a recent appearance at the Jammy Awards held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Staples sat in with the North Mississippi All Stars before joining Umphrey's McGee, Sinead O'Connor and Huey Lewis for a rousing rendition of the Staple Singers' classic, “I'll Take You There.”

MAVIS STAPLES AT THE JAMMYS!

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LITTLE CHARLIE & THE NIGHTCATS' “NINE LIVES” AND MARCIA BALL'S “LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD” BOTH DEBUT ON THE BILLBOARD BLUES CHART!
5/4/2005
LITTLE CHARLIE & THE NIGHTCATS' “NINE LIVES” AND MARCIA BALL'S “LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD” BOTH DEBUT ON THE BILLBOARD BLUES CHART! Alligator Records' two latest releases, Little Charlie & The Nightcats' “Nine Lives” and Marcia Ball's “Live! Down The Road,” hit the #6 and the #3 spots on Billboard's Blues Chart respectively. Ball's CD was the #4 overall seller in New Orleans during the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival. Both CDs have received critical praise across the country, with reviews running in “The Chicago Sun-Times,” “The Austin Chronicle,” “The Austin American Statesman,” “The Sacramento Bee” and upcoming coverage in “Billboard,” “GuitarOne,” “Singer,” and many other outlets.

LITTLE CHARLIE & THE NIGHTCATS' “NINE LIVES” AND MARCIA BALL'S “LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD” BOTH DEBUT ON THE BILLBOARD BLUES CHART!

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“GUITAR ONE” MAGAZINE CHOOSES FOUR ALLIGATOR ALBUMS AMONG 200 GREATEST GUITAR RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME!
4/6/2005
“GuitarOne” magazine, in their May 2005 issue, chooses four Alligator Records albums among the Top 200 Greatest Guitar Recordings Of All Time. Writer Bob Gulla, picking the 30 best blues recordings, writes:

“GUITAR ONE” MAGAZINE CHOOSES FOUR ALLIGATOR ALBUMS AMONG 200 GREATEST GUITAR RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME!

“GUITAR ONE” MAGAZINE CHOOSES FOUR ALLIGATOR ALBUMS AMONG 200 GREATEST GUITAR RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME!

HOUND DOG TAYLOR AND THE HOUSEROCKERS, Hound Dog Taylor (1971)
“Remarkable for his raw slide tone and emotional power, Hound Dog was the first signing to the then fledgling Alligator label.”

MIDNIGHT SON, Son Seals (1976)
“‘Midnight Son’ has been hailed as the decade’s most significant blues album.”

SHOWDOWN! Robert Cray/Johnny Copeland/Albert Collins
“This super-trio won the Grammy for Best Blues Album with this release, which features playful but powerful interplay.”

MAKE IT RAIN, Michael Burks (2000)
“Burks, who’s been playing guitar since he was two and gigging since he was six, separates himself from most third-generation bluesers by digging deep for outrageous tone and outstanding solos.”

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ALLIGATOR PREPARES DOUBLE RELEASE
3/25/2005
Alligator Records released new CDs from Sacramento’s blues/jazz/jump masters Little Charlie & The Nightcats and critically acclaimed, Austin-based pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball on April 26, 2005. NINE LIVES, Little Charlie & The Nightcats’ ninth release, is a foot-stomping mix of Chicago blues, West Coast swing, jumping jazz and R&B, anchored by harpist/singer Rick Estrin’s original songs and vocals and Little Charlie Baty’s out-of-this-world fretwork. LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD is Ball’s first-ever full-length live album. Backed by her road-tested touring band, the CD features a fan’s dream set list of songs from throughout Marcia’s long career.

ALLIGATOR PREPARES DOUBLE RELEASE

LITTLE CHARLIE & THE NIGHTCATS

With each new Little Charlie & The Nightcats release, it becomes increasingly clear that these cats are musicians of unparalled skill. Baty and Estrin are both world-class musicians with equal amounts of creativity and originality. Together, they’ve created some of the most memorable and long-lasting blues and roots music in the last 30 years. The San Francisco Chronicle says, “Great jump blues, known for sizzling guitar, a harmonica sound that sings and original blues tunes that entertain audiences like no other in the genre.”

Baty’s wild, seemingly impossible guitar excursions run the gamut from jazz to blues to rock to surf. He seamlessly blends various elements into a guitar sound that is his alone. Guitar World declares, “Baty’s straight blues playing is eye-popping...he stretches solos to the breaking point, skittering on the edge, where one wrong note will bring the whole thing crashing down.” “Little Charlie Baty plays as much guitar as Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy put together,” raves The Village Voice. “He is one of the swiftest, most fluent guitarists working in any genre.”

Estrin’s harmonica acrobatics, singing style and songwriting skills are every bit Baty’s equal. As a harp player, Estrin has few peers. His work on the reeds is at once deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter Horton and Little Walter Jacobs while at the same time pushing that tradition forward. “Rick Estrin sings and writes songs like the brightest wise guy in all bluesland and blows harmonica as if he learned at the knee of Little Walter,” raves Down Beat. His original songs stand shoulder to shoulder with those of Willie Dixon and the songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller. Estrin won the 1993 W.C. Handy Award for his composition, My Next Ex-Wife and has written songs for a growing legion of famous fans. Other artists who have covered Estrin songs include Little Milton, Rusty Zinn, Kid Ramos and Mark Hummel. Besides Dixon and Leiber and Stoller, Estrin cites Sonny Boy Williamson II, Percy Mayfield and Baby Boy Warren as his major songwriting influences. Rounding out the Nightcats are drummer J. Hansen (who’s been with the band since 2002) and bassist Lorenzo Farrell (who joined in 2003), both veterans of the Bay Area’s Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums. Hansen and Farrell combine to produce one of the most exciting rhythm sections in the Nightcats’ history.

The story of Little Charlie & The Nightcats began back in the early 1970s when Baty – a harmonica-playing UC Berkeley student, first met Estrin. With Rick already an accomplished harp player, Baty decided to switch to guitar full-time and the two formed a blues band. After relocating to Sacramento, Baty quickly reinvented himself as a take-no-prisoners, one-of-a-kind guitarist. With the addition of a drummer and a bass player, Little Charlie & The Nightcats were born.

In 1986 the band sent an unsolicited tape to Alligator Records. Alligator president Bruce Iglauer was blown away. He flew to Sacramento to see the band perform and was sold. Their debut album, ALL THE WAY CRAZY, was released in 1987 to overwhelming success. Almost immediately they went from playing small Sacramento blues clubs to performing concerts and festivals around the country and around the world.

The band’s following albums, 1988’s DISTURBING THE PEACE, 1989’s THE BIG BREAK!, 1991’s CAPTURED LIVE, 1992’s NIGHT VISION, 1995’s STRAIGHT UP!, and 1998’s SHADOW OF THE BLUES solidified their reputation as one of the most adventurous and sophisticated blues bands around. 2002’s THAT’S BIG! continued their success, with reviews and features running in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Post, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, GuitarOne, Guitar Player and many other national and regional publications. The band also was featured in a 20-minute interview and performance segment on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.

With their new CD NINE LIVES and continued non-stop touring, the band, like their music, remains in constant motion, attracting new fans across the country and around the world. “The blues needs converts,” noted The Village Voice, “and Little Charlie & The Nightcats make a few new believers every night.” The Chicago Sun-Times declares, “It’s tough for fans to stay in their seats when Estrin and Baty and their musical cohorts get cooking.” Indeed, these cats jump, prowl and always come to play.

MARCIA BALL

Previously, the only way for Marcia Ball’s fans to hear one of her stellar live performances was to see her in person. But now that all changes, as Ball rewards her fans with her first-ever full-length live album, LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD, a blistering set recorded at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, CA in 2004. Ball gives each song the workout of a lifetime, reinventing and reinvigorating every track with the immediacy and fire only a live show can deliver.

After recording nine previous albums, Ball joined the Alligator Records family in 2001 (and also hooked up with the influential Rosebud booking agency that same year) and released the critically acclaimed PRESUMED INNOCENT, which took home the 2002 W.C. Handy Blues Award for “Blues Album of the Year.” Her follow-up, SO MANY RIVERS, was nominated for a Grammy® Award, and won the 2004 W.C. Handy Blues Award for “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” as well as the coveted “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year” award.

Born in Orange, Texas, in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley tunes from her grandmother’s collection. From her aunt, Marcia heard more modern and popular music. But it wasn’t until she was 13 that Marcia discovered the blues, as she sat amazed while Irma Thomas delivered the most soulful and spirited performance the young teenager had ever seen. In 1966, she attended Louisiana State University, where she played some of her very first gigs with a blues-based rock band called Gum.

In 1970 Ball set out for San Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, Texas, and while waiting for repairs, she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn’t long before Ball was performing in the city’s clubs with a progressive country band called Freda and the Firedogs, while beginning to hone her songwriting skills. It was around this time that Ball delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. “Once I found out about Professor Longhair,” recalls Ball, “I knew I had found my direction.”

When the band broke up in 1974, Ball launched her solo career, signing to Capitol Records and debuting with the country album Circuit Queen in 1978. She released six critically acclaimed albums on the Rounder label during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1990, Ball - collaborating with Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton - recorded the hugely successful Dreams Come True on the Antone’s label. At the end of 1997, Marcia finished work on a similar “three divas of the blues” project for Rounder, this time in the distinguished company of Tracy Nelson and Ball’s longtime inspiration, Irma Thomas. The album, Sing It!, was released in January, 1998 and was nominated for both a Grammy® and a W.C. Handy Blues Award as “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Ball also received the 1998 W.C. Handy Blues Award for “Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year” and for “Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards.” In 1999, Marcia and her band appeared in the nationally televised Public Television special In Performance At The White House along with B.B. King and Della Reese. Her albums and performances received glowing reviews in major music publications, and Marcia was featured on leading television and radio programs, including Austin City Limits and National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and Piano Jazz.

Since the release of her Alligator debut PRESUMED INNOCENT, Ball has received more popular and critical acclaim than ever before. Billboard called the CD “A stellar collection…Ball is a formidable musical force, and this is her best vocal performance to date featuring polished performances and true grit, capturing the totality of Marcia like no previous album.” The album was in the Top 20 chart positions at Album Network, Gavin and FMQB and won the W.C. Handy Blues Award for “Best Blues Album of the Year.” SO MANY RIVERS, her 2003 follow-up, continued the trend. Billboard again fueled the excitement, saying, “Ball is a consummate pro – a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Powerful. Righteous. SO MANY RIVERS is the best album Ball has ever tracked.”

Now, with LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD and a long list of high profile tour dates, Marcia Ball is poised for even more acclaim. Blues Revue declares, “Marcia Ball has an uncanny ability to synthesize all the sounds of the Texas-Louisiana border and deliver them with an honesty that makes it all seem natural and logical. She has this amazing power to light up a room.” With LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD, Ball’s singing, songwriting and piano playing, along with her foot-stomping, road-tested band, will move souls and feet together, creating a romping, stomping roadhouse full of heartfelt passion and fervent music for anyone within earshot. 

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COCO MONTOYA’S SONG, “I NEED YOUR LOVE IN MY LIFE” SUNG BY SOLOMAN BURKE ON “THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN”
3/1/2005
Alligator recording artist and master blues guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Coco Montoya, who is currently at work on a new CD, had his composition, “I Need Your Love In My Life” (written by Montoya and Dave Steen) performed by soul legend Solomon Burke on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Monday, February 28.

COCO MONTOYA’S SONG, “I NEED YOUR LOVE IN MY LIFE” SUNG BY SOLOMAN BURKE ON “THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN”

Burke has recorded the song as the lead off track of his new CD, MAKE DUE WITH WHAT YOU GOT, due out on March 1.

Montoya, a protégé of blues legend Albert Collins, originally recorded the song on his 2000 Alligator CD, SUSPICION, an album “Guitar Player” magazine called “searing, stunning powerhouse blues, emotional and energetic.”

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“LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN” REBROADCASTS MAVIS STAPLES APPEARANCE ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2005!
2/17/2005
Gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples, fresh from her celebrated, nationally televised appearances on the “47th Annual Grammy Awards” and NBC Television’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” will again hit the national airwaves. Staples’ October 20, 2004 performance of “Have A Little Faith” (the title song from her Alligator CD) on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” will be rebroadcast Monday, February 21 on NBC and again on Tuesday, February 22 on CNBC

“LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN” REBROADCASTS MAVIS STAPLES APPEARANCE ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2005!

Staples received a Lifetime Achievement Award (as a member of the Staple Singers) from The Recording Academy and performed with Kanye West, John Legend and The Blind Boys of Alabama on the 47th Grammy telecast.

In March, Staples will be a featured speaker/performer at the annual South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas.

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MAVIS STAPLES APPEARS ON THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO!
2/9/2005
Gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples performed the title song from her current Alligator Release, “Have A Little Faith,” on NBC Television’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Monday, February 14, 2005. The day before, Staples received a Lifetime Achievement Award (as a member of the Staple Singers) from The Recording Academy and performed with Kanye West, John Legend and The Blind Boys of Alabama on the 47th Grammy telecast. Staples was also be the featured guest on “The Bob Edwards Show” on XM Satellite Radio on Friday, February 11.

MAVIS STAPLES APPEARS ON THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO!

Since the August 2004 release of “Have A Little Faith,” Staples has appeared on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” “E-Town,” “On Point,” and “The Tavis Smiley Show,” and many other national outlets. Critics and fans have hailed the album as the strongest in Staples’ storied career.
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ALLIGATOR RECORDING ARTISTS MAVIS STAPLES AND ELVIN BISHOP TO PERFORM DURING THE 47TH GRAMMY AWARDS
1/27/2005
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 RECORDING ARTISTS MAVIS STAPLES AND ELVIN BISHOP TO PERFORM DURING THE 47TH GRAMMY AWARDS

ALLIGATOR RECORDING ARTISTS MAVIS STAPLES AND ELVIN BISHOP TO PERFORM DURING THE 47TH GRAMMY AWARDS Gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples, whose current Alligator CD HAVE A LITTLE FAITH is widely hailed as the best of her career, will perform with multiple Grammy nominee Kanye West, John Legend and The Blind Boys of Alabama. Staples, as a member of the legendary Staple Singers, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony on February 12. An announcement of the award will be made during the Grammy telecast. Staples is nominated for a Grammy Award 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.”

Guitarist Elvin Bishop, who rose to fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band before embarking on a long and storied solo career, will perform during the Grammy tribute to Southern rock, along with Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers), members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Grammy nominees Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Gretchen Wilson. Bishop’s latest Alligator CDs are THE SKIN I’M IN and the live THAT’S MY PARTNER!, recorded with Bishop’s blues mentor Little Smokey Smothers.

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ALLIGATOR RECORDS RE-SIGNS GUITARIST/VOCALIST TINSLEY ELLIS!
1/21/2005
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.

ALLIGATOR RECORDS RE-SIGNS GUITARIST/VOCALIST TINSLEY ELLIS!

"Feral blues guitar...non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor's edge...his eloquence dazzles...he achieves pyrotechnics that rival Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton."
-- Rolling Stone

Both Ellis and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer are thrilled to be working together again. "Tinsley is one of the finest younger generation blues rockers. He's made great albums for us in the past, and we're excited to have him back in the Alligator family. He's great in the studio, but even better live, so I'm really looking forward to this recording," says Iglauer.

And Ellis is in total agreement. "I look forward to working with my friends at Alligator. Nobody knows the blues market better, and the roster of acts is the strongest they've ever had. I'm beyond proud to be back."

Born in Atlanta in 1957, Ellis grew up in southern Florida and first played guitar at age eight. He found the blues through the backdoor of the British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream, and The Rolling Stones. He especially loved the Kings - Freddie and B.B. - and spent hours immersing himself in their music. His love for the blues solidified when he was 14. At a B.B. King performance, Tinsley sat mesmerized in the front row. When the master broke a string on Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to the youngster. After the show, B.B. came out and talked with fans, further impressing Ellis with his warmth and down-to-earth attitude. By now Tinsley's fate was sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. And yes, he still has that string.

Already an accomplished musician, Ellis left Florida and returned to Atlanta in 1975. He soon joined the Alley Cats, a gritty blues band that included Preston Hubbard (of Fabulous Thunderbirds fame). In 1981, along with veteran blues singer and harpist "Chicago" Bob Nelson, Tinsley formed The Heartfixers, a group that would become Atlanta's top-drawing blues band. Upon hearing the band's second release, "Live At The Moonshadow" (Landslide), "The Washington Post" declared, "Tinsley Ellis is a legitimate guitar hero." After cutting two more Heartfixers albums for Landslide, "Cool On It" (featuring Tinsley"s vocal debut) and "Tore Up" (with vocals by blues shouter Nappy Brown) Ellis was ready to head out on his own. Ellis sent a copy of the master tape for his solo debut to Bruce Iglauer at Alligator Records. "I had heard 'Cool On It,'" recalls Iglauer, "and I was amazed. I hadn't heard Tinsley before, but he played like the guys with huge international reputations. It wasn't just his raw power; it was his taste and maturity that got to me. It had the power of rock but felt like the blues. I knew I wanted to hear more of this guy."

"Georgia Blue," Tinsley's Alligator debut, hit an unprepared public by surprise in 1988. Critics and fans quickly agreed that a new and original guitar hero had emerged. "Guitar World" called the album "a solid smoking affair from start to finish." Before long, Alligator arranged to reissue "Cool On It" and "Tore Up," thus exposing Tinsley's earlier music to a growing fan base.

Tinsley's next releases (1989's "Fanning The Flames," 1992's "Trouble Time," 1994's "Storm Warning" and 1997's "Fire It Up") solidified his reputation as one of the best guitar slingers and songwriters in the country. Playing with friends Peter Buck and keyboardist Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones), and working with producers Eddy Offord (Yes, Yoko Ono) and Tom Dowd (Allman Brothers, Ray Charles) brought even more critical acclaim Ellis' way. "Dazzling musicianship pitched somewhere between the exhilarating volatility of rock and roll and the passion of urban blues," raved the "Los Angeles Times."

Features and reviews ran in "Rolling Stone," the "Chicago Tribune," the "Washington Post," the "Los Angeles Times," the "Boston Globe," and in many other national and regional publications. His largest audience by far came when NBC Sports ran a story on Atlanta's best blues guitarist during their 1996 Summer Olympic Coverage viewed by millions of people all over the world. Atlanta magazine called Tinsley, "the most significant blues artist to emerge from Atlanta since Blind Willie McTell." "It's hard to overstate the raw power of his music," announced the "Chicago Sun-Times."

Ellis has played -- at least once -- in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Europe, Australia and South America. Whether he's out with his own band or sharing stages with Robert Cray, Koko Taylor or The Allman Brothers, he averages over 150 performances a year, bringing his fast-moving, high-energy, guitar-drenched performances to fans all over the world. The new CD will capture that ferocious power on CD for the very first time.

        

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GUITARIST/VOCALIST SON SEALS 1942 - 2004
12/21/2004
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.

GUITARIST/VOCALIST SON SEALS 1942 - 2004

Over the course of his career, Seals was hailed as one of Chicago’s great bluesmen and one of the city’s most powerful live performers. “Musician” stated, “Seals delivers performances of the most profound emotion…one of the genre’s most soulful exorcists.” His most recent recording was an Alligator Records career retrospective, “Deluxe Edition,” in 2002. Among his many accolades, Seals won three W.C. Handy Blues Awards, one each in 1985, 1987 and 2001, and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1980 for his participation in the live compilation, “Blues Deluxe.”

Frank “Son” Seals was born in Osceola, Arkansas on August 14, 1942. He became an accomplished drummer by the time he was 13. By the age of 18, Son had put down the drumsticks and was leading his own band as a guitarist. He moved to Chicago in 1971 and began playing regular weekend gigs at The Expressway Lounge and other clubs on Chicago's South Side, regularly jamming with legends like Hound Dog Taylor, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy.

Son's 1973 debut recording, “The Son Seals Blues Band,” on the fledging Alligator Records label, established him as a blazing, original blues performer and composer. Son's audience base grew as he toured extensively, playing colleges, clubs and festivals throughout the country. “The New York Times” called him “the most exciting young blues guitarist and singer in years.” His 1977 follow-up, “Midnight Son,” received widespread acclaim from every major music publication. “Rolling Stone” called it “one of the most significant blues albums of the decade.”

On the strength of “Midnight Son,” Seals began touring Europe regularly, and even appeared in an Olympia beer commercial. A strong series of six more successful Alligator releases followed through the 1980s and 1990s (Seals also recorded two albums for other labels during this time), growing Seals’ audience all over the world. Seals shared stages with a wide variety of blues stars, including B.B. King and Johnny Winter. Even the popular rock band Phish recognized Seals’ talent and power, covering his song “Funky Bitch” on record and inviting Seals to join them on stage at many of their tour dates.

Seals played his last live performances in October 2004 in California.

Survivors include a sister, Katherine Sims of Chicago, and 14 children.

No funeral arrangements have been announced at this time.


Alligator Records Discography:
The Son Seals Blues Band (1973)
Midnight Son (1976)
Live And Burning (1978)
Chicago Fire (1980)
Bad Axe (1984)
Living In The Danger Zone (1991)
Nothing But The Truth (1994)
Live-Spontaneous Combustion (1996)
Deluxe Edition (2002)


“Son Seals is the most exciting young blues guitarist and singer in years.”
--The New York Times (1973)

“A major blues talent.”
--Rolling Stone

“Seals carves guitar licks like a chainsaw through solid oak and sings like a grainy-voiced avenging angel. A master of gritty, blue-collar blues.”
--Guitar World

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THIRTEEN ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 25 W.C. HANDY BLUES AWARD NOMINATIONS!
12/15/2004
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.

THIRTEEN ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 25 W.C. HANDY BLUES AWARD NOMINATIONS!

The W.C. Handy Blues Awards ceremony and concert will be held May 5, 2005 in Memphis, TN, at the Cook Convention Center. Alligator artists and nominations are as follows:


THE HOLMES BROTHERS
Blues Album of the Year - "Simple Truths"
Blues Band of the Year - The Holmes Brothers
Blues Song of the Year - "Run Myself Out Of Town" (writer Wendell Holmes, performed by The Holmes Brothers)
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year - "Simple Truths"
Best Instrumentalist, Bass - Sherman Holmes
Best Instrumentalist, Drums - Popsy Dixon


MAVIS STAPLES
Blues Album of the Year - "Have A Little Faith"
Blues Song of the Year - "Have A Little Faith" (writer Jim Tullio and Jim Weider, performed by Mavis Staples)
Soul/Blues Album of the Year - "Have A Little Faith
Soul/Blues - Female Artist of the Year - Mavis Staples


W.C. CLARK
Blues Album of the Year - "Deep In The Heart"
Soul/Blues-Male Artist of the Year - W.C. Clark
Soul/Blues Album of the Year – “Deep In The Heart”


GUITAR SHORTY
Blues Album of the Year - "Watch Your Back"
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year - "Watch Your Back"


MARCIA BALL
Contemporary Blues-Female Artist of the Year - Marcia Ball
Best Instrumentalist-Keyboards - Marcia Ball


BILLY BRANCH & KENNY NEAL
Acoustic Blues Album of the Year - "Double Take"


CAREY BELL & LURRIE BELL
Acoustic Blues Album of the Year - "Second Nature"


LITTLE CHARLIE AND THE NIGHTCATS
Blues Band of the Year - Little Charlie and the Nightcats


SHEMEKIA COPELAND
Contemporary Blues-Female Artist of the Year - Shemekia Copeland


HOUND DOG TAYLOR
Historical Blues Album of the Year - "Release The Hound"


ROOMFUL OF BLUES
Best Instrumentalist-Horns - Roomful of Blues Horns


ANDRA FAYE (of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women)
Best Instrumentalist-Other – Andra Faye - Mandolin


KOKO TAYLOR
Traditional Blues-Female Artist of the Year - Koko Taylor


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CHICAGO TRIBUNE PICKS CAREY & LURRIE BELL’S “SECOND NATURE” AS TOP BLUES CD OF 2004
12/13/2004
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 PICKS CAREY & LURRIE BELL’S “SECOND NATURE” AS TOP BLUES CD OF 2004

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