News


Shemekia Copeland Debuts Timely New Song, UNCIVIL WAR
6/15/2020
Award-winning blues and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland releases her timely new song, Uncivil War, on Friday, June 19. It is a courageous statement pleading for unity in a time of disunion, and is unlike anything Copeland has previously recorded.

Shemekia Copeland Debuts Timely New Song, UNCIVIL WAR

Shemekia Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar…she can do no wrong.”
--Rolling Stone

Shemekia Copeland is one of the great blues voices of our time. No one comes close to the sheer firepower that Copeland conjures at will.
--Chicago Tribune


Authoritative...confrontational...punchy defiance and potent conviction. It’s hard to imagine anyone staking a more convincing claim to the territory she’s staked out.
--NPR Music

Award-winning blues and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland releases her timely new song, Uncivil War, on Friday, June 19. It is a courageous statement pleading for unity in a time of disunion, and is unlike anything Copeland has previously recorded. Uncivil War takes no sides and speaks to every person's desire to be safe and free. Featuring iconic mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas and background vocals from popular alternative band The Orphan Brigade, the song is simultaneously comforting and challenging, as Copeland sings, "Same old wounds we've opened before / Nobody wins an uncivil war." Shemekia delivers the song with passion and insight about the chaos and uncertainty in the world while still finding light in the darkness and hope for the future.

On Monday, June 15 at 9:00am Eastern, SiriusXM's B.B. King's Bluesville exclusively premiered the song to its worldwide audience.

According to Copeland, "It's not just a song. 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.”

Copeland's instantly recognizable voice is capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring. She is a three-time Grammy nominee with a wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots, blues and soul music. Uncivil War showcases the next step in the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach. The song, written by John Hahn, will be featured on Copeland's upcoming Alligator album.


Copeland's previous release, America’s Child, cemented her place her as one of blues' and Americana's most commanding voices. America's Child won the Blues Music Award for Album Of The Year, and was named the #1 blues album of 2018 by MOJO magazine. Copeland recently received the 2020 Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year, during a special online ceremony.

When she first burst on the scene at age 18 in 1998 with her groundbreaking Alligator Records debut CD, Turn The Heat Up, Copeland quickly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. News outlets from The New York Times to CNN praised Copeland's talent, larger-than-life personality, and true star power. With each of her eight releases, Copeland's music has continued to grow, reaching a larger and larger audience

Shemekia Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. 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. Currently, Copeland can be heard five days a week hosting her own blues radio show on SiriusXM's Bluesville. In addition, she was recently the subject of a six-minute feature on the PBS News Hour, who proclaimed her "a new generation Queen Of The Blues."

The Philadelphia Inquirer declared, "Shemekia Copeland is an antidote to artifice. She is a commanding presence, a powerhouse vocalist delivering the truth." No Depression added, “When Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth, everybody pays attention. She pierces your soul.”

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Gary Clark Jr. Praises "The Cannon," Guitar Effects Pedal Designed For Toronzo Cannon
6/12/2020

Guitar superstar Gary Clark, Jr. recently shared his love of The Cannon -- the guitar effects pedal designed by Function-fx (https://function-fx.com/site/the-cannon-dual-fuzz/) for Chicago blues sensation Toronzo Cannon -- with his many social media friends and followers.

Gary Clark Jr. Praises "The Cannon," Guitar Effects Pedal Designed For Toronzo Cannon

Guitar superstar Gary Clark, Jr. recently shared his love of The Cannon -- the guitar effects pedal designed by Function-fx (https://function-fx.com/site/the-cannon-dual-fuzz/) for Chicago blues sensation Toronzo Cannon -- with his many social media friends and followers.

"The Cannon," says Clark, "got me where I need to be. This is not an ad. Just showing love."

Songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and Chicago Transit Authority bus driver Toronzo Cannon fuses his original, keenly-detailed tales of everyday life with his fiery guitar playing. UK tastemaker music magazine MOJO named his latest Alligator Records album, The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp, the #2 Best Blues Album Of 2019. Cannon recently received three 2020 Blues Music Award nominations.

Blues Music Magazine says, “Cannon has all the fire and spontaneity of the Chicago legends. His songwriting is a timely and original look at the world he sees by day on a bus and in blues clubs by night, and his assertive voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the message.”

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Four Alligator Records Artists Win 10 Blues Music Awards
5/3/2020
On Sunday, May 3, The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. Newcomer Christone "Kingfish" Ingram led all recipients with five awards, winning in every category in which he was nominated. He took the trophies for Album Of The Year, Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year and Best Emerging Artist Album for his Alligator Records debut, Kingfish. He was also named Contemporary Male Blues Artist Of The Year and Best Instrumentalist - Guitar.

Four Alligator Records Artists Win 10 Blues Music Awards

On Sunday, May 3, The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors.

Newcomer Christone "Kingfish" Ingram led all recipients with five awards, winning in every category in which he was nominated. He took the trophies for Album Of The Year, Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year and Best Emerging Artist Album for his Alligator Records debut, Kingfish. He was also named Contemporary Male Blues Artist Of The Year and Best Instrumentalist - Guitar.

The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling (with Moss on guitar and Gruenling on harmonica) was named Band Of The Year, and won in all three categories in which they were nominated. Their Alligator Records album Lucky Guy! won Traditional Blues Album Of The Year. The album's title track, written by Moss, won the Song Of The Year award.

Two other Alligator artists were also award winners. Vocalist Shemekia Copeland won for Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year. Rick Estrin, leader of Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, won for Best Instrumentalist - Harmonica.

The 41st Annual Blues Music Awards ceremony, hosted from her living room by Shemekia Copeland, was presented online with contributions from artists all over the world. Presenters included Charlie Musselwhite, Warren Haynes, Fantastic Negrito, Ruthie Foster, William Bell, Beth Hart, and Keb’ Mo’.

The awards were originally scheduled to be presented in Memphis on May 7, 2020, before being moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Full list of winners can be found here:
https://blues.org/blues-music-awards/#nominees

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Charles "Little Charlie" Baty: July 10, 1953 - March 6, 2020
3/10/2020
Master guitarist Charles "Little Charlie" Baty -- known worldwide as a fearless blues musician -- died on March 6, 2020 of a heart attack in Vacaville, California. He was 66.

Charles "Little Charlie" Baty: July 10, 1953 - March 6, 2020

Master guitarist Charles "Little Charlie" Baty -- known worldwide as a fearless blues musician -- died on March 6, 2020 of a heart attack in Vacaville, California. He was 66. Baty is best known as the leader of award-winning blues band Little Charlie & The Nightcats, who released nine albums on Alligator Records between 1987 and 2008. Baty retired from the band in 2008 with a desire to do less year-round touring. Over the course of his career, he shared stages with Muddy Waters, Gregg Allman, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Los Lobos and many others.

Guitar World said, “Baty’s straight blues playing is eye-popping...inspired and manic blues guitar. He can sting like Buddy Guy and swing like Tiny Grimes.” Rock critic Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice said, “Little Charlie Baty plays as much guitar as Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy put together. He is one of the swiftest, most fluent guitarists working in any genre.”

Baty proudly never played the same song the same way twice. His playing bridged hard Chicago blues and swing jazz, and his inspirations were as diverse as Buddy Guy, Django Reinhardt and Tiny Grimes. In 2018, he told his hometown newspaper, The Davis Enterprise, "If you practice scales, then your playing sounds like scales. If you start second guessing, you end up musically introverted. You cannot have fear as a guitar player."

In recent years, Baty fronted jazz trio Little Charlie & Organ Grinder Swing, and performed often with artists including Mark Hummel Kim Wilson and Anson Funderburgh. His extensive musical vocabulary was comprised of blues, jazz, rockabilly and swing. The Chicago Tribune said, "Baty's guitar is razor sharp, blasting out solos with jaw-dropping precision." Blues legend John Lee Hooker, with whom the band toured in 1987, told Baty, "You're dangerous with that guitar, man. They're gonna put you in jail."

Baty was born in Birmingham, Alabama and moved to San Francisco at an early age. He fell in love with blues as a child and was playing harmonica by age 12. He began his musical career in the mid-1960s as a Chicago-style blues harmonica player and vocalist, turning to guitar in the early 1970s. In his late teens, he attended many concerts at the Fillmore including seeing B.B. King and Buddy Guy. After graduating high school, Baty earned a Mathematics degree from the University of California Berkeley.

Baty moved to Sacramento in 1975 in search of a non-musical job, although he was already a proficient guitarist. Soon after moving there, he met harmonica player, vocalist and songwriter Rick Estrin. The two added a drummer and bassist and formed Little Charlie & The Nightcats, quickly becoming one of the most talked about blues bands on the local scene. The group signed with Alligator Records in 1987. They released nine albums and toured the world non-stop before Baty retired from the band in 2008. Baty released 14 total albums in his lifetime. His most recent was Skronky Tonk in 2017 on the EllerSoul label.

Baty is survived by sisters Katherine and Laurel and mother-in-law Mary Montiero. He was preceded in death by sister Page and wife Sylvia.

Private funeral services will be held on Monday, March 16, 2020.

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NPR Music Premieres New Song From Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
2/10/2020
On Monday, February 10, 2020 NPR Music is exclusively premiering Empty Promises, the hair-raising new recording from rising star blues guitarist and vocalist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Fresh off a Grammy Award nomination for his 2019 Alligator Records debut, Kingfish, Ingram officially releases his blistering version of Empty Promises on Friday, February 14.

NPR Music Premieres New Song From Christone "Kingfish" Ingram

NPR MUSIC TO PREMIERE STUDIO AND LIVE VERSIONS ON FEBRUARY 10

“This Clarksdale, Mississippi native smacks [the blues] to life by singing like an ornery road-weary elder (he turned 21 in January), and playing guitar with a dramatic, searing tone and sure-handed authority. And that's just in the studio; he's even scarier live."
--NPR Music

On Monday, February 10, 2020 NPR Music is exclusively premiering Empty Promises, the hair-raising new recording from rising star blues guitarist and vocalist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Fresh off a Grammy Award nomination for his 2019 Alligator Records debut, Kingfish, Ingram officially releases his blistering version of Empty Promises on Friday, February 14. The head-turning young guitarist and vocalist is unleashing two versions of the song (which was written and first performed by the late bluesman Michael “Iron Man” Burks) -- a studio version, recorded in Los Angeles in January 2020, and a live version, recorded at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley club on February 1, 2020. In addition to the audio versions of the song, NPR Music will also host the video of the live version. Nashville Scene called Ingram's performance, “an invigorating display of mastery….dynamic showmanship combined with imaginative, decisive and constantly surprising musicianship. Ingram’s vocals were energetic and compelling.” Empty Promises will be available on all major streaming and download services.

Listen and watch here.

According to Ingram, Empty Promises is a song he’s always loved. “I’ve long been a fan of Michael Burks and I think Empty Promises is an amazing song. The structure and lyrics are special and of course the original guitar is heavy. Ultimately, this is a love song and it’s one I truly wanted to put my own spin on. With the versions I’ve released, I really want people just to hear how unique the song can be, particularly with the guitar solos. Hopefully people will like it and think that I have done it justice.”

Since the release of his debut album Kingfish, 21-year-old Clarksdale, Mississippi native Ingram has gigged nonstop and has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on radio and television. 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 and has remained on the "Blues" chart ever since. The album continues to receive regular airplay on radio stations around the world. He was recently interviewed by Sir Elton John on John's Apple Beats podcast. NPR Music named Ingram 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 appeared (honoring Buddy Guy) on PBS Television's Austin City Limits.

Ingram is currently embarked on his second national headlining tour, “Fish Grease 2: A Juke Joint Tour.” In addition to his headlining dates, he'll open some shows for Buddy Guy and Vampire Weekend. He’ll make his first headlining tour of Europe this summer.

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Shemekia Copeland Appears On PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND This Sunday, Jan. 26
1/22/2020
Award-winning blues, soul and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland will be featured on the nationally televised program PBS NewsHour Weekend on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

Shemekia Copeland Appears On PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND This Sunday, Jan. 26

Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today.
--The Chicago Tribune

Award-winning blues, soul and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland will be featured on the nationally televised program PBS NewsHour Weekend on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Copeland, a three-time Grammy nominee, brings her wide-open vision of contemporary American roots music to every song she sings.

PBS NewsHour Weekend's Tom Casciato says he considers Copeland "a great vocalist." During the eight-minute segment, Copeland tells Casciato, among other things, about getting in trouble as a child at school for singing the Koko Taylor song I'm A Woman. Many of Copeland's songs -- from classics like Ghetto Child to more recent anthems like Ain't Got Time For Hate -- will be heard during the piece.

The show will air late Sunday afternoon but at various times in different markets. Local PBS stations can be found here. Please note that depending on current events, scheduling may change.

The segment will be available to stream in full at the PBS NewsHour Weekend website beginning on January 26.

Copeland recently received two 2020 Blues Music Award nominations. She won two Blues Music Awards in 2019, including Album Of The Year for her groundbreaking album, America's Child. Copeland is currently working on her next as-yet-untitled album, due out later in 2020. She can be heard daily hosting her own blues radio show on SiriusXM's Bluesville.

When she first burst on the scene at age 18 in 1998 with her groundbreaking Alligator Records debut CD, Turn The Heat Up, Copeland quickly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. News outlets from The New York Times to CNN praised Copeland's talent, larger-than-life personality, and true star power. With each subsequent release, Copeland's music has continued to grow, reaching a larger and larger audience. In 2018, influential tastemaker UK music magazine MOJO named America'sChild the #1 blues album of the year.

Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. She's sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, 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.

NPR Music says, “She brings a perfect balance of authority and understatement to each song.” No Depression adds, “When Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth, everybody pays attention. She pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland.”

 

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Roomful Of Blues Set To Release IN A ROOMFUL OF BLUES On March 13
1/14/2020
Roomful of Blues, the world-renowned, horn-powered, houserocking blues band, will release In A Roomful Of Blues on Friday, March 13, 2020 on Alligator Records.

Roomful Of Blues Set To Release IN A ROOMFUL OF BLUES On March 13

Roomful Of Blues Set To Release IN A ROOMFUL OF BLUES On March 13

First Album Of New Material In Nine Years

 

Brawny shuffles, swinging horns, searing guitar, passionate vocals and balls-to-the-wall enthusiasm” –Living Blues

“High-voltage swingin’ jump blues and R&B” –USA Today

“Jubilant, jazzy R&B...boisterous horn-propelled magnificence...infectiously joyous spirit” –Blues Music Magazine

Roomful of Blues, the world-renowned, horn-powered, houserocking blues band, will release In A Roomful Of Blues on Friday, March 13, 2020 on Alligator Records. The Rhode Island- based group has been delighting audiences for over 50 years. Blues Music Magazine calls them “the best little big band in the blues.”

In A Roomful Of Blues, the band’s fifth release on Alligator Records (and 19th overall), was produced by guitarist and bandleader Chris Vachon and features 13 wide-ranging songs, including nine band-composed originals—more than on any previous Roomful album. Eight songs were written or co-written by Vachon (including one authored with vocalist Phil Pemberton) plus one each by sax player Alek Razdan and keyboardist Rusty Scott. From the rocking We’d Have A Love Sublime to the funkified You Move Me  to the closing-time lament She Quit Me Again to the up-to-the-minute Phone Zombies, In A Roomful Of Blues is filled with soaring blues, zydeco twists, late-night ballads, Latin-tinged funk and a touch of vintage, fifth-gear rock ‘n’ roll.

On record and on stage, Roomful of Blues continues to deliver its bone-shaking mix of original songs and carefully chosen covers ranging from jump, swing and proto rock ‘n’ roll to funky, contemporary blues. Their impeccable musicianship and larger-than-life vocals have earned Roomful five Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. Twice, the prestigious DownBeat International Critics’ Poll has selected them as Best Blues Band.

Vachon first joined Roomful in 1990, and has been leading the band since 1998. Guitar Player says Vachon’s guitar playing “burns with explosive solos and a delightfully greasy sense of rhythm.” The band has maintained its signature sound through great musicianship and a stellar horn section—featuring tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970. Lataille’s masterful playing can evoke either the fat-toned, honking sax of the glory days of early rock or the cool elegance of big band swing jazz.

While Roomful of Blues has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world, they have never sounded fresher or stronger than with the current line-up. Along with Vachon and Lataille, the band includes vocalist Phil Pemberton, baritone and tenor saxophonist Alek Razdan, trumpeter Carl “Geerz” Gerhard, bassist John Turner, drummer Chris Anzalone and keyboardist Rusty Scott.

Roomful of Blues began in 1967 when a group of southern Rhode Island teenagers with a shared passion for the blues formed a straight-ahead Chicago-style electric blues band to explore the music of their heroes. They added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970 and released their self-titled debut album in 1977 on Island Records (reissued on Hyena Records), which brought them to the attention of fans and critics from coast to coast. The band has performed in cities around the world, travelling abroad to 22 countries including Lebanon, Poland, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.The New Yorker says the band brings “thunderous performances that get feet stomping and hands clapping.”

With In A Roomful Of Blues, the band has once again captured all of their frenetic energy and musical power in the studio. Roomful of Blues will be hitting the road and bringing the new material to their fans around the world, proving without doubt that this is a band built to stand the test of time. While keenly aware of the group’s half century of history, Vachon is quick to note, however, that they are constantly looking forward. “We always keep things fresh and we keep the excitement level high. Playing this music is an immense amount of fun for us,” he says. “And it’s just as much fun for our audience.”

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Fourteen Alligator Artists Receive 37 Blues Music Award Nominations
1/7/2020
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 -- Today the Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. A remarkable total of 14 Alligator recording artists received 37 nominations.

Fourteen Alligator Artists Receive 37 Blues Music Award Nominations

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 -- Today the Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. A remarkable total of 14 Alligator recording artists received 37 nominations. Rick Estrin & The Nightcats leads all artists with eight nominations (including one each for guitarist Christoffer "Kid" Andersen and drummer Derrick D'Mar Martin). Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues and The Cash Box Kings (including one for drummer Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith) followed with five each. The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling received four, while Toronzo Cannon received three. Shemekia Copeland, Curtis Salgado and Tommy Castro & The Painkillers each received two, with Tinsley Ellis (whose new album Ice Cream In Hell is set for January 31 release) receiving one.
 
According to Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, "I’m very proud of so many Alligator artists getting the recognition they so richly deserve. I believe this is the largest number of Alligator records and artists to be nominated for the Blues Music Awards in any one year. The 2020 awards show will be even more exciting than usual!"
 
The Blues Album Of The Year category features four Alligator releases of the five nominees: The Cash Box Kings' Hail To The Kings!, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram's Kingfish, Toronzo Cannon's The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp, and Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues' Roots & Branches: The Songs Of Little Walter.
 
The Band Of The Year category features three Alligator artists -- The Cash Box Kings, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling, and previous Band Of The Year winners Rick Estrin & The Nightcats.
 
The 41st Annual Blues Music Awards will be presented in Memphis on May 7, 2020 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. The full list of nominees can be found here.

Alligator artists and awards are as follows:

RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS:
Entertainer Of The Year
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year
Instrumentalist - Harmonica
Song Of The Year - Resentment File (written by Rick Estrin, Joe Louis Walker, and JoJo Russo)
Band Of The Year
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year - Contemporary
Instrumentalist - Guitar (Christoffer "Kid" Andersen)
Instrumentalist - Drums (Derrick D'Mar Martin)

 
CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM:
Album Of The Year - Kingfish
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year - Kingfish
Best Emerging Artist Album - Kingfish
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year
Instrumentalist - Guitar
 

BILLY BRANCH & THE SONS OF BLUES:
Entertainer Of The Year
Album Of The Year - Roots & Branches: The Songs Of Little Walter
Traditional Blues Album Of The Year - Roots & Branches: The Songs Of Little Walter
Instrumentalist - Harmonica
Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year
 

THE CASH BOX KINGS:
Band Of The Year
Album Of The Year - Hail To The Kings!
Traditional Blues Album Of The Year - Hail To The Kings!
Song Of The Year - The Wine Talkin' (written by Joe Nosek, John Hahn, and Oscar Wilson)
Instrumentalist - Drums (Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith)


THE NICK MOSS BAND FEATURING DENNIS GRUENLING:
Band Of The Year
Traditional Blues Album Of The Year - Lucky Guy!
Song Of The Year - Lucky Guy (written by Nick Moss)
Instrumentalist - Harmonica (Dennis Gruenling)


TORONZO CANNON:
Album Of The Year - The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year - The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year


TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAINKILLERS:
Blues Rock Album Of The Year - Killin' It Live
Blues Rock Artist Of The Year


CURTIS SALGADO:
Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year
Instrumentalist - Vocals
 

SHEMEKIA COPELAND:
Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year
Instrumentalist - Vocals
 

TINSLEY ELLIS:
Blues Rock Artist Of The Year

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Blues-Rocker Tinsley Ellis Announces ICE CREAM IN HELL Tour
1/6/2020
MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020 -- Today, world-renowned Atlanta-based blues-rock guitar virtuoso, soulful singer and prolific songwriter Tinsley Ellis served up plans for his coast-to-coast Ice Cream In Hell tour.

Blues-Rocker Tinsley Ellis Announces ICE CREAM IN HELL Tour

Blues-Rocker Tinsley Ellis Announces ICE CREAM IN HELL Tour

New Album Ice Cream In Hell To Be Released On January 31, 2020

Rugged, burning and riveting….Tinsley Ellis is a powerful and commanding presence, both on guitar and as a gruff, full-throated vocalist. He’s the hardest-working man in blues-rock…It’s impossible to not enjoy the ride.
--Blues Music Magazine

Incendiary….Scalding guitar and banshee solos. Ellis mixes soul and fire.
--Premier Guitar

MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020 -- Today, world-renowned Atlanta-based blues-rock guitar virtuoso, soulful singer and prolific songwriter Tinsley Ellis served up plans for his coast-to-coast Ice Cream In Hell tour. The three-month tour kicks off in Ellis' hometown of Atlanta on January 31, 2020, the same day the highly anticipated new album, Ice Cream In Hell, is released.

 “A musician never got famous staying home,” says Ellis, who continues to perform over 150 nights a year. “I’ve seen it all,” the Atlanta native says of his four decades on the road. “And a lot of my audience has been along for the entire time. It’s not always easy. But the payoff is the music. That’s the ice cream.”

Filled with blazing, every-note-matters guitar playing over the course of 11 instantly memorable original songs, Ice Cream In Hell is, according to Ellis, the most raw-sounding, guitar-drenched album of his career. Throughout the album, Ellis’ deeply emotional, lyrical guitar solos perfectly match his fervent vocals. Rolling Stone says Ellis plays "feral blues guitar...non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge...his eloquence dazzles...he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.”

Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and his longtime co-producer Kevin McKendree (John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton), Ice Cream In Hell is a cathartic blast of blues-rock power. Though inspired by all three Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie), as well by Carlos Santana, Hound Dog Taylor and others, Ice Cream In Hell is pure, unadulterated Tinsley Ellis.

ICE CREAM IN HELL TOUR:
Jan 31 City Winery Atlanta, GA
Feb 01 The Foundry Athens, GA
Feb 05 The Grey Eagle Asheville, NC
Feb 06 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
Feb 07 The Open Chord Knoxville, TN
Feb 08 Songbirds Guitar Museum Chattanooga, TN
Feb 14 The Kelsey Theater Lake Park, FL
Feb 15 David Posnack JCC Davie, FL
Feb 16 The Alley Sanford, FL
Feb 20 Stocks n Bonds Omaha, NE
Feb 21-22 Grand Z Casino Central City, CO
Feb 23 Swallow Hill Music Denver, CO
Feb 24 The Cooperage Albuquerque, NM
Feb 26 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA with Janiva Magness
Feb 27 The Canyon Agoura Hills, CA
Feb 28 Felton Music Hall Felton, CA
Feb 29 Mystic Theatre Petaluma, CA
Mar 01 Cornerstone Berkeley, CA
Mar 03 The Tower Theatre Lounge Fresno, CA
Mar 04 SLO Brew Rock San Luis Obispo, CA
Mar 05 The Rose Pasadena, CA
Mar 06 World Records Bakersfield, CA
Mar 08 The Coach House San Juan Capistrano, CA with Jimmie Vaughan
Mar 10 191 Toole Tucson, AZ
Mar 11 Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ
Mar 12 Boulder Station Casino Las Vegas, NV at Railhead
Mar 13 Center for the Arts Grass Valley, CA
Mar 14 Paradise Performing Arts Center Paradise, CA with Tommy Castro
Mar 15 The Saint Reno, NV
Mar 18 The Triple Door Seattle, WA
Mar 19 The Seasons Performance Hall Yakima, WA
Mar 20 Jack London Revue Portland, OR
Mar 21 Capitol Theater Olympia, WA with Curtis Salgado
Mar 23 Top Hat Missoula, MT
Mar 24 Rialto Bozeman, MT
Mar 26 Dakota Minneapolis, MN
Mar 27 TBA Des Moines, IA
Mar 28 The Jazz Kitchen Indianapolis, IN
Mar 29 Woodlands Tavern Columbus, OH
Mar 31 SPACE Evanston, IL
Apr 01 Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI
Apr 02 Uptown Grill's Playlist Theater LaSalle, IL
Apr 03 London Music Hall London, ON
Apr 04 Hugh’s Room (matinee) Toronto, ON
Apr 05 Iron Works Buffalo, NY
Apr 08 Cafe Lena Saratoga Springs, NY
Apr 09 One Longfellow Square Portland, ME
Apr 10 Spire Center for Performing Arts Plymouth, NH
Apr 11 The Center For Arts In Natick, MA
Apr 13 Chan’s Woonsocket, RI
Apr 14 Sellersville Theater Sellersville, PA
Apr 15 Infinity Hall Norfolk, CT
Apr 16 City Winery, NYC
Apr 17 Arden Gild Hall Arden, DE
Apr 18 The Soundry Columbia, MD
Apr 19 City Winery Washington, DC

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Shemekia Copeland & Christone “Kingfish” Ingram Join Buddy Guy On Austin City Limits Broadcast
12/16/2019
Alligator Records artists Shemekia Copeland and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will join blues icon Buddy Guy in an all-star concert event as he celebrates his Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame induction. PBS Television will nationally broadcast the program on Saturday, December 28.

Shemekia Copeland & Christone “Kingfish” Ingram Join Buddy Guy On Austin City Limits Broadcast

SHEMEKIA COPELAND AND CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM CELEBRATE BUDDY GUY'S AUSTIN CITY LIMITS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION 

PBS Television Broadcast On Saturday, December 28, 2019

Alligator Records artists Shemekia Copeland and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will join blues icon Buddy Guy in an all-star concert event as he celebrates his Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame induction. PBS Television will nationally broadcast the program on Saturday, December 28. Viewers should check their local listings for times and channels.

The show was filmed at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin, Texas in October. Guy, along with Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett, were honored. Additional guests include Jackson Browne, Jimmie Vaughan, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah Jarosz and Willis Alan Ramsey. The program's host is Robert Earl Keen.

Award-winning blues, R&B and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland has toured worldwide for over 20 years. Her most recent album, America's Child, (the eighth of her career) was named the #1 blues album of 2018 by MOJO magazine. The album is a courageous and fiery statement of purpose and a major step forward for the singer whose musical consciousness continues to expand as her star continues to rise. The album, with guests including John Prine and Rhiannon Giddens, bursts with Copeland’s bravado and embraces with her tenderness. Copeland recently received two Blues Music Awards for America's Child: Album Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year. Her instantly recognizable voice--capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring--delivers every song with unparalleled honesty and passion. The three-time Grammy nominee’s wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach. The Chicago Tribune says, "Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today." Copeland is currently working on a new album set for 2020 release.

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, the head-turning 20-year-old blues guitarist and vocalist from Clarksdale, Mississippi, is currently touring behind his Grammy-nominated debut album, Kingfish, on Alligator Records. MOJO magazine named the release the #1 Blues Album of 2019. He has opened shows for Buddy Guy, Vampire Weekend and Jason Isbel. In January 2020, he will embark on his second headlining tour, entitled Fish Grease 2: A Juke Joint Tour. With his eye-popping guitar playing and his reach-out-and-grab-you-by-the-collar vocals, Kingfish delivers each song with unmatched passion and precision. NPR Music calls him a “rising blues prodigy…a torchbearer.” The album showcases Ingram’s blistering, inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and memorable songwriting. On the track Fresh Out, Kingfish is joined by his friend and mentor, Buddy Guy, who adds vocals and guitar on the song. According to Guy, "Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues."

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NPR Music Names KINGFISH Among Best Debut Albums Of 2019
12/11/2019
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 -- NPR Music has named Kingfish -- the groundbreaking debut CD from Christone "Kingfish" Ingram -- as one of the Best Debut Albums Of 2019.

NPR Music Names KINGFISH Among Best Debut Albums Of 2019

NPR Music Names KINGFISH Among Best Debut Albums Of 2019

NPR MUSIC NAMES KINGFISH AMONG
BEST DEBUT ALBUMS OF 2019

Is Christone “Kingfish” Ingram the future of the blues? The blues savior is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.
–Rolling Stone

Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues.
–Buddy Guy

The blues phenom plays guitar like he’s on fire.
–Guitar Player

Luxuriate in the glorious virtuosity of young blues lion Ingram.
–NPR Music

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 -- NPR Music has named Kingfish -- the groundbreaking debut CD from Christone "Kingfish" Ingram -- as one of the Best Debut Albums Of 2019. According to NPR Music writer Tom Moon, "On his blazing Kingfish, this Clarksdale, Miss. native smacks [the blues] to life, by singing like an ornery road-weary elder (he turns 21 in January), and playing guitar leads with a dramatic, searing tone and sure-handed authority. And that's just in the studio; he's even scarier live." The album, released in May 2019, is currently nominated for a Grammy Award. Tastemaker UK music magazine MOJO named Kingfish the #1 Blues Album of 2019.

Since the release of his debut album Kingfish, 20-year-old Clarksdale, Mississippi native Ingram has gigged nonstop and has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on radio and television. Within the last few months, Ingram has played shows across the U.S.A., including dates with Buddy Guy, Vampire Weekend and Jason Isbell, as well as headlining his first-ever national tour, dubbed Fish Grease: A Juke Joint Tour. He will launch his follow up tour, Fish Grease 2, this January. Kingfish debuted at #1 on the Billboard "Blues" and "Heatseekers" charts and continues to receive regular airplay on radio stations around the world. He was recently interviewed by Sir Elton John on John's Apple Beats podcast.

With his eye-popping guitar playing and his reach-out-and-grab-you-by-the-collar vocals, Kingfish delivers each song with unmatched passion and precision. Steeped in the rich, vivid history of the blues, he’s driven by his burning desire to create contemporary blues music that speaks to his generation and beyond. Kingfish is inspired by the music of Robert Johnson, but dreams of one day collaborating with Kendrick Lamar and soul-funk bassist Thundercat. “My core is blues,” he says, “but it’s important for me to create a sound and style that is uniquely my own. I have a lot to say, so please stay tuned.”

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Billy Branch To Be Inducted Into The Blues Hall Of Fame
12/10/2019
Tuesday, December 10 -- The Blues Foundation today announced that harmonica giant Billy Branch will be inducted into the 41st class of The Blues Hall Of Fame in May 2020.

Billy Branch To Be Inducted Into The Blues Hall Of Fame

HARMONICA MASTER BILLY BRANCH TO BE INDUCTED INTO
THE BLUES HALL OF FAME

Ceremony To Be Held In Memphis In May 2020

“As a committed Chicago blues harmonica player, Branch has almost no rival…He’s set the gold standard.”
--DownBeat

“A potent blend of rootsy integrity and exploratory zeal.”
--Living Blues

“Branch has a warm, open vocal style and a full command of the blues harp, from wailing notes to chugging rhythms.”
--The New York Times


Tuesday, December 10 -- The Blues Foundation today announced that harmonica giant Billy Branch will be inducted into the 41st class of The Blues Hall Of Fame in May 2020. With his inventive, deeply rooted playing and gritty, soulful vocals, Branch carries on the Chicago blues tradition that he learned first-hand from harmonica icons including Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Willie Dixon. Along with his band, The Sons Of Blues, Branch has traveled the world, creating living, breathing and evolving Chicago blues for over four decades. The Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum, 225 S. Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee.

Being inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame is a career highlight, according to Branch. "My life's mission has been simple and yet complex; to make more people aware of the beauty and significance of the blues, the roots of American music. Throughout my sojourn I have been blessed to have known and been mentored by some of the greatest that ever lived. It is a tremendous honor to humbly be included among their ranks."

Branch's latest release is Roots And Branches–The Songs Of Little Walter. The album finds Branch and his band, The Sons Of Blues, breathing life and fire into their reimaginings of the songs of the renowned Little Walter Jacobs. Little Walter was one of the principal architects of the Chicago blues sound and one of the most influential blues harmonica players who ever lived. With a huge musical vocabulary and dynamic versatility, Branch incorporates soul, funk and rock elements to his playing. He is a gruff and potent vocalist, a groundbreaking solo artist, an in-demand session player and consummate band leader. He is a three-time Grammy nominee, a three-time Blues Music Award winner, a two-time Keeping The Blues Alive Award winner (for Education) and a two-time Living Blues Critics’ Award winner. Branch has recorded eleven albums under his own name and has appeared on scores of other recordings.

In addition to his musical credits, Branch is also a tireless educator. His Blues In The Schools program has earned him praise both inside and outside of the music world. Branch shares his knowledge of the music with students in Chicago and other cities around the world, where he teaches blues history as well as providing instrumental instruction to children. In 1996, members of his classes, with Branch at the helm, performed on the main stage at the Chicago Blues Festival. The entire set was broadcast on NPR. Branch has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show and CBS’s Sunday Morning and can be seen in the feature films Adventures In Babysitting and Next Of Kin.

Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues can be found performing in clubs, concert halls and festivals all over the world. From the United States and Canada to South and Central America, the Caribbean, China, Africa, Israel and all throughout Europe, Branch and his band soulfully deliver their music with a concentrated, raw Windy City authority.

 

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