EIGHT ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVE 15 W.C. HANDY BLUES AWARD NOMINATIONS!
The Blues Foundation today announced the nominees for the 25th Annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards. Eight Alligator recording artists received a total of 15 nominations. Austin-based singer/songwriter/pianist Marcia Ball (who was recently nominated for a Grammy(c) Award) received four nominations, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Michael Burks followed with three nominations. Singing sensation Shemekia Copeland and Roomful of Blues (who also received a Grammy(c) nomination) followed with two nominations apiece, while Little Charlie and the Nightcats, W.C. Clark, Andra Faye (of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women) and Koko Taylor each received one nomination. The Handy Awards ceremony and concert will be held April 29, 2004 at the Cook Convention Center on Main Street in downtown Memphis.
Holmes Brothers' Simple Truths reviewd in Billboard
The new Holmes Brothers CD, Simple Truths, received a glowing review from writer Chris Morris in Billboard magazine.
KOKO TAYLOR, “QUEEN OF THE BLUES,” RECOVERING FROM SURGERY
Grammy Award-winning ‘Queen of the Blues’ Koko Taylor, 75, is recovering from surgery to correct a gastrointestinal bleed. The surgery was performed on November 2 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. According to Dr. Angelo Costas, her primary care physician, Ms. Taylor is “greatly recovered” from the surgery. She has just been moved to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and is expected to return home by Christmas. Her doctors anticipate a full recovery. Ms. Taylor hopes to begin performing again in late winter or early spring of 2004.
ALLIGATOR RECORDS’ ARTISTS MARCIA BALL AND ROOMFUL OF BLUES RECEIVE GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS!
Alligator Records is proud to announce that Marcia Ball and Roomful of Blues both received Grammy© Award nominations. Ball’s album, SO MANY RIVERS, was nominated in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category. “Billboard” declared, “[Ball is] a killer pianist and a great singer. SO MANY RIVERS is the best album she has ever tracked.” Roomful of Blues’ album, THAT’S RIGHT!, received the nomination in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. “The Chicago Sun-Times” said THAT’S RIGHT! “swaggers, sways and swings with energy and precision. This is a band on top of its game.”
NEW RELEASES FROM THE HOLMES BROTHERS AND KENNY NEAL & BILLY BRANCH SET FOR RELEASE
Alligator Records has set a January 13, 2004 release date for SIMPLE TRUTHS, the second Alligator release from the Holmes Brothers and DOUBLE TAKE, an intimate acoustic album from guitarist/vocalist Kenny Neal and harmonica master/vocalist Billy Branch.
HOLMES BROTHERS ON NEW PETER GABRIEL SINGLE
The Holmes Brothers contributes backing vocals on a newly released Peter Gabriel track, “Burn You Up, Burn You Down,” which appears on the Peter Gabriel compilation album, “Hit,” on Geffen Records. The track has been released as a single in Europe, and also appears in a new MYST video game, a best-selling video game franchise with sales topping 12 million. Released in November of 2003, the track was actually recorded in 1991.
SHEMEKIA COPELAND APPEARS ON PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL’S “WHAD’YA KNOW?”
Blues superstar Shemekia Copleland and her band appeared live on the Public Radio International program “Whad’ya Know” on Saturday, November 29. They performed the new Christmas classic, “Stay A Little Longer, Santa,” from the just-released Alligator cd, GENUINE HOUSEROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS. “Whad’ya Know” is syndicated to 319 stations nationwide and broadcast live from Madison, Wisconsin starting at 10:00am Central Time. The show reaches an audience of 1.3 million people.
KOKO TAYLOR TO APPEAR ON THE PBS TELEVISION CHILDREN’S PROGRAM “ARTHUR”
Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor will appear on the PBS Television children’s series “Arthur” on most PBS stations on Friday, December 26. In the episode, entitled “Big Horns George,” Taylor (animated as a bear), helps the character George find the confidence to play and sing the blues. According to Taylor, “Children are tomorrow’s generation and I’m doing the show for them. This is a wonderful opportunity to educate children about the blues.” Please check local listings for airdate and time in your area.
MARCIA BALL APPEARS ON NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO’S “DAY TO DAY” AND “A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION”
Pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball appeared on the NPR program “Day To Day” on Monday, September 29. She discussed the PBS television series, “The Blues,” and displayed various piano blues styles and vocal techniques. The program is carried on 78 stations around the country.
PBS TELEVISION SERIES, “THE BLUES” AND PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL 13-PART BLUES RADIO SERIES SCHEDULED TO BEGIN RUNNING SEPTEMBER 28
The seven-part television film series (from executive producer Martin Scorsese), “The Blues,” is scheduled to begin running on Sunday, September 28, 2003 on PBS stations nationwide. Four Alligator artists are featured in the films: Koko Taylor and Lonnie Brooks (“Godfathers and Sons” directed by Marc Levin), Shemekia Copeland (“The Soul Of A Man” directed by Wim Wenders) and Marcia Ball (“Piano Blues” directed by Clint Eastwood).
Tary Owens 1943 - 2003
Tary Owens, famed producer/songwriter/performer, died Sunday, September 21, 2003 in Houston, Texas. He was 60. Owens co-produced all of Texas bluesman Long John Hunter’s Alligator CDs: “Border Town Legend,” “Swinging From The Rafters,” “Ride With Me” and the Hunter, Lonnie Brooks, Phillip Walker collaboration “Lone Star Shootout.” Owens, one-time owner of Austin-based Catfish Records, is often credited with being a key player in the birth of the Austin blues scene.
SHEMEKIA COPELAND WINS LIVING BLUES READER AWARD; APPEARS ON FRONT OF NEW YORK TIMES ARTS & LEISURE SECTION
Singing sensation Shemekia Copeland received the 2003 Living Blues Reader Award for “Best Blues Singer – Female” as published in issue #169 (dated Sept/Oct 2003). This is her second time winning this coveted award. In May 2003, she won three W.C. Handy Blues Awards including “Blues Album Of The Year” for her most recent CD, “Talking To Strangers.”