News


SEVEN ALLIGATOR RECORDS ARTISTS RECEIVE TWELVE 2019 LIVING BLUES AWARD NOMINATIONS
6/3/2019
Living Blues magazine has announced the nominees for the 2019 Living Blues Readers' Awards. Seven Alligator Records artists received a total of 12 nominations.

SEVEN ALLIGATOR RECORDS ARTISTS RECEIVE TWELVE 2019 LIVING BLUES AWARD NOMINATIONS

Label President Bruce Iglauer Receives Nomination for book,
Bitten By The Blues: The Alligator Records Story
 
Living Blues magazine has announced the nominees for the 2019 Living Blues Readers' Awards. Seven Alligator Records artists received a total of 12 nominations. Shemekia Copeland received four nominations; Marcia Ball received three; Tinsley Ellis, Tommy Castro, Billy Branch, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials and The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling each received one. Additionally, Alligator president Bruce Iglauer and co-author Patrick A. Roberts received a nomination for their book, Bitten By The Blues: The Alligator Records Story.

The public -- Living Blues subscribers and non-subscribers alike -- can vote at www.livingblues.com by July 15, 2019.

Winners will be announced in August.

Alligator artists and award nominations are as follows:

SHEMEKIA COPELAND:
Blues Artist Of The Year (Female)
Most Outstanding Blues Singer
Best Live Performer
Best Blues Album Of 2018 (New Recordings) - America's Child


MARCIA BALL:
Blues Artist Of The Year (Female)
Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboards)
Best Blues Album Of 2018 (New Recordings) - Shine Bright


TINSLEY ELLIS:
Blues Artist Of The Year (Male)


TOMMY CASTRO:
Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)

 
BILLY BRANCH:
Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)


LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS:
Best Live Performer


THE NICK MOSS BAND FEATURING DENNIS GRUENLING:
Best Live Performer
 
 
BRUCE IGLAUER and PATRICK A. ROBERTS:
Best Blues Book Of 2018 -
Bitten By The Blues - The Alligator Records Story
 
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Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Premieres First Video At RollingStone.com
5/16/2019
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, the 20-year-old blues guitar prodigy from Clarksdale, Mississippi, has today released his first video for the radio single, Outside Of This Town.

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Premieres First Video At RollingStone.com

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram Premieres First Video At RollingStone.com

CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM RELEASES VIDEO FOR OUTSIDE OF THIS TOWN

DEBUT ALBUM, KINGFISH, SET FOR MAY 17 RELEASE

 RollingStone.com Premieres Video On May 16

Stop-Motion Video Created and Directed By Lyndon Barrois
Shot With One-Inch Miniatures Handmade From Gum Wrappers

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, the 20-year-old blues guitar prodigy from Clarksdale, Mississippi, has today released his first video for the radio single, Outside Of This Town. His highly-anticipated debut CD, Kingfish, will be released on Alligat or Records on May 17.

RollingStone.com is premiering the video here.

NPR Music's First Listen is hosting a full album stream (until release date) here.

The video -- shot and edited using iPhones -- was created and directed by acclaimed visual artist and animator Lyndon Barrois (The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, The PJs). For the video, Barrois created one-inch miniature sculptures handmade from chewing gum wrappers -- a medium he's worked with since age 10 -- and filmed using stop-motion animation, where the video is shot one frame at a time.

The Outside Of This Town video tells the story of miniature Kingfish living inside of a guitar at a music store and dreaming of one day taking his music all across the globe. Barrois mixes the gum wrapper miniatures with real world objects, drawing the viewer deep into this imaginary, complex universe. The short film took Barrois over six months to complete, and is the first music video he's created in over 20 years. "Kingfish operates at genius level," Barrois says."Offstage he's a sweet 20-year-old kid. Onstage he's much older. He channels the music."

Sprung from the same earth as so many of the Delta blues masters, Kingfish comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49. A student of the Delta’s musical history, he is acutely aware of the musicians and the music that emerged from his corner of the world. “I do think I have an old soul, that I’ve been here before,” he says. “I’m moving forward with one foot in the past. You don’t see too many kids into blues music. In my town, every kid wants to be a rapper – I wanted to do something no one else was d oing.”  And although he grew up near the crossroads where Robert Johnson allegedly cut a deal with the devil, Kingfish insists he didn’t do any of that to make his guitar howl the blues. “I just practice all the time,” he says, “that’s the only deal I made, and it’s with myself."

Funk music superstar Bootsy Collins began sharing Kingfish’s YouTube videos online (some with millions of views each), telling his followers, “this is how a child can influence others.” Rapper The Game did the same. Christone’s appeal beyond blues was immediate. He appeared on The Rachael Ray Show as well as The Steve Harvey Show. He was cast in season two of the Netflix program Luke Cage after the series lead producer saw one of his videos. Two of his cover songs appear on the show’s soundtrack album, which introduced him to a young audience. Kingfish also performed in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with rap legend Rakim, who also appeared in Luke Cage.

Kingfish was produced by two-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Louis Walker, George Thorogood). It showcases Ingram’s blistering, raw and inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and memorable songwriting. He co-wrote eight of the album’s twelve tracks. Kingfish will be performing at festivals and headlining his own shows thi s summer as well as opening select dates for Vampire Weekend. Blues legend Buddy Guy says, "Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues."

Click here for the full story

Seven Alligator Artists Receive Six Blues Music Awards
5/10/2019

On Thursday, May 9, The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 40th Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. Seven Alligator recording artists received a total of six awards.

Seven Alligator Artists Receive Six Blues Music Awards

SEVEN ALLIGATOR ARTISTS RECEIVESIX BLUES MUSIC AWARDS

 On Thursday, May 9, The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 40th Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. Seven Alligator recording artists received a total of six awards.

Powerhouse vocalist Shemekia Copeland won two awards for her groundbreaking 2018 album, America's Child: Album Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year. Legendary guitarist and soulful vocalist Joe Louis Walker, harmonica master Giles Robson and piano virtuoso Bruce Katz won the Acoustic Album Of The Year Award for their critically acclaimed 2018 release, Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues. Celebrated guitarist Nick Moss and harmonica giant Dennis Gruenling (of The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling) both won awards -- Moss for Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year and Gruenling for Best Instrumentalist -- Harmonica. Recent Austin City Limits Hall Of Famer Marcia Ball won for Best Instrumentalist -- Piano, the eleventh Blues Music Award of her career.

The 40th Annual Blues Music Awards were presented in Memphis at the Cook Convention Center.

Click here for the full story

Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues' New Album Set For July 5 Release
5/6/2019
Alligator Records has set a July 5 release date for Roots And Branches–The Songs Of Little Walter, the dynamic new release from Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues.

Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues' New Album Set For July 5 Release

Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues' New Album Set For July 5 Release

BILLY BRANCH & THE SONS OF BLUES' NEW ALBUM,

ROOTS AND BRANCHES--THE SONGS OF LITTLE WALTER,

SET FOR JULY 5 RELEASE

 

“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

 

Alligator Records has set a July 5 release date for Roots And Branches–The Songs Of Little Walter, the dynamic new release from Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues. The album finds Branch and the band boldly reimagining the songs of the renowned Little Walter Jacobs. Jacobs was one of the principal architects of the Chicago blues sound and one of the most influential blues harmonica players who ever lived.

According to Branch, “We were determined not to make this a “typical” Little Walter tribute recording. We are proud to present an album with elements of soul, funk, and even a little bit of gospel. Our goal was to competently and respectfully produce a Little Walter-themed recording with a different twist, while preserving the integrity of Little Walter’s innovative style.”

Roots And Branches, recorded in Chicago and co-produced by Billy Branch, Rosa Branch and longtime Sons Of Blues pianist Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi, features 15 songs written by and or made famous by Little Walter. Each song is played with equal amounts of Branch’s deeply rooted reverence and up-to-the-minute innovation. The music is as timeless in Branch’s and The Sons Of Blues’ interpretations as in Walter’s feral originals. Along with Branch and Ariyoshi, the band features guitarist Giles Corey, bassist Marvin Little and drummer Andrew “Blaze” Thomas. At the end of the album, Little Walter’s daughter, Marion Diaz, shares a few anecdotes of life with her legendary father.

Blues giant Billy Branch is among today’s greatest harmonica players. With his inventive, deeply rooted playing and gritty, soulful vocals, Branch carries on the Chicago blues tradition that he learned first-hand from icons including Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell, Willie Dixon and many others. His famous teachers made it clear to anyone who would listen that Branch was the heir apparent to the Chicago blues harmonica throne. With his instantly recognizable sound and his band, The Sons Of Blues, Branch has traveled the world, creating his signature brand of Chicago blues for over four decades.

With a huge blues vocabulary and dynamic versatility, Branch incorporates soul, funk and rock elements to his playing. His upper register licks and his emotional, melodic ballad playing define his sound even further. 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 recordings, 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, which was broadcast on NPR. He 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. Now, with Roots And Branches–The Songs Of Little Walter, Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues continue to spread the gospel of the blues, reigniting the magical, timeless power of the music of Little Walter Jacobs, and in turn the soul-cleansing power of the real, living, evolving Chicago blues, as only Billy Branch can play them.

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The Cash Box Kings’ New CD HAIL TO THE KINGS! Available May 17
3/18/2019
Alligator Records has set a May 17 release date for Hail To The Kings!, the dynamic new album from traditional blues innovators The Cash Box Kings.

The Cash Box Kings’ New CD HAIL TO THE KINGS! Available May 17

The Cash Box Kings’ New CD HAIL TO THE KINGS! Available May 17

"Fearless, full-tilt Chicago blues...fervent vocals and soaring harmonica" –Chicago Tribune

"The Cash Box Kings are one of the best blues bands in the land" –Living Blues

Alligator Records has set a May 17 release date for Hail To The Kings!, the dynamic new album from traditional blues innovators The Cash Box Kings. Co-led by real-deal Chicago blues vocalist and songwriter Oscar Wilson and Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter, harmonica master and singer Joe Nosek, the band plays brilliantly raw and unvarnished houserocking blues. Wilson’s huge, gritty vocals and Nosek’s powerhouse harmonica fuel their razor-sharp original songs.

Mixing tough Chicago and Delta blues, jumping proto-rock ‘n’ roll, and steamrolling “bluesabilly” (their original mix of Chicago blues and Memphis rockabilly), they attack every song they play with contemporary authority and old school authenticity. The extraordinary ensemble playing between Nosek, Wilson, guitarist Billy Flynn, bassist John W. Lauler, drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and their friend, pianist Queen Lee Kanehira, is a true force of nature.

Hail To The Kings! follows their critically acclaimed 2017 Alligator debut, Royal Mint. The new album, recorded in Chicago and produced by Nosek, features 13 songs, including 11 originals written or co-written by Nosek and Wilson. According to Nosek, one of the secret weapons of Hail To The Kings!is Wilson’s growth as a songwriter. “He’s always brought great originality to the material,” says Nosek, “but now he’s bursting with songs and ideas.”

Their hard Chicago sound and street-smart lyrics keep the album burning hot from start to finish. Special guest Shemekia Copeland turns the heat up as she joins her friend Oscar Wilson for the mischievous duet, The Wine Talkin’. On Bluesman Next Door and Jon Burge Blues, Nosek and Wilson bring socially conscious truth to power, shining a light into some of society’s darkest corners. “Blues music is used to transform and to find relief,” notes Nosek. “Our songs are all about real life topics that matter—good times, tough times and some bad situations. We’ll raise our voices when we have to, and we’ll have a good time doing it.”

Joe Nosek founded The Cash Box Kings in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001 and, since 2007, has co-led the band with the charismatic, larger-than-life vocalist Oscar Wilson. Over 20 years apart in age and coming from vastly different backgrounds, the two form an unlikely pair, combining Wilson’s indisputably authentic South Side Chicago blues vocals and original songs with Nosek’s dynamic harmonica, songwriting and singing talents.

With nine previous releases to their credit and hundreds of live performances under their belts, The Cash Box Kings have won widespread acclaim throughout the blues world. Their 2013 release Black Toppin' won the Blues Blast Music Award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year. In 2017, their Alligator debut Royal Mint was named among the Top Ten Blues Albums of the Year by MOJO magazine. In 2018 they were nominated for a Blues Music Award as Blues Band of the Year. They have four previous Blues Music Award nominations.

With Hail To The Kings! and tour dates scheduled throughout the USA and Europe, The Cash Box Kings are prepared to deliver their crowd-pleasing blues to audiences around the world. They bring an up-to-the-minute urgency to their traditional, tough, fun and gritty blues that brings crowds to their feet night after night. According to No Depression, “The Cash Box Kings are a royal hive of raucous houserockers. Whether resurrecting the past or living in the moment, they satisfy your craving for hardcore Chicago blues, served up hot and tasty.”

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KINGFISH Cover Art Revealed - New CD Set For May 17
3/11/2019

COVER ART REVEALED FOR KINGFISH

 DEBUT ALBUM FROM CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAMSET FOR MAY 17 RELEASE

KINGFISH Cover Art Revealed - New CD Set For May 17

KINGFISH Cover Art Revealed - New CD Set For May 17

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

A rising blues prodigy….A torchbearer.
--NPR Music


Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues.

--Buddy Guy


Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, the ne wly-signed 20-year-old blues guitar prodigy from Clarksdale, Mississippi, along with Alligator Records, has today revealed the cover art for his debut CD, Kingfish. The album is set for release on May 17, 2019. On February 19, RollingStone.com premiered the album track Fresh Out, a sizzling duet featuring music legend Buddy Guy. The first radio single, Outside Of This Town, will be released on April 15. Additionally, on May 16, Kingfish will showcase at WXPN-FM's annual, influential NON-COMMvention in Philadelphia. The convention brings together public (non-commercial) radio music programmers and managers, music industry representatives, and music media from across the US. From there, Kingfish will tour, headlining his own shows and opening dates for Budd y Guy and Vampire Weekend.

Listen to Fresh Out here.

Kingfish was produced by two-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Louis Walker, George Thorogood). The album showcases Ingram’s blistering, raw and inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and memorable songwriting. He co-wrote eight of the album’s twelve tracks. “A lot of folks know me for my covers,” he says of his many YouTube videos, some with millions of views each. “That’s why it’s important for me to release original music."

Sprung from the same earth as so many of the Delta blues masters, Kingfish comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49. A student of the Delta’s musical history, he is acutely aware of the musicians and the music that emerged from his corner of the world. “I do think I have an old soul, that I’ve been here before,” he says. “I’m moving forward with one foot in the past. You don’t see too many kids into blues music. In my town, every kid wants to be a rapper – I wanted to do something no one else was doing.”  And although he grew up near the crossroads where Robert Johnson allege dly cut a deal with the devil, Kingfish insists he didn’t do any of that to make his guitar howl the blues. “I just practice all the time,” he says, “that’s the only deal I made, and it’s with myself."

Funk music superstar Bootsy Collins began sharing Kingfish’s YouTube videos online, telling his followers, “this is how a child can influence others.” Rapper The Game did the same. Christone’s appeal beyond blues was immediate. He appeared on The Rachael Ray Show as well as The Steve Harvey Show. He was cast in season two of the Netflix program Luke Cage after the series lead producer saw one of his videos. Two of his cover songs appear on the show’s soundtrack album, which immediately introduced him to a young audience. Kingfish recently performed in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with rap legend Rakim, who also appeared in Luke Cage.

With the release of Kingfish, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is ready to blaze a trail with the blues torch that’s been passed to him. 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 cre ate contemporary 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.”

Kingfish will be performing in concert across North America. He will be headlining his own shows as well as opening select dates for Buddy Guy and Vampire Weekend:

HEADLINING & FESTIVAL DATES:
Mar 30 - Pearl, MS/Pearl City Park
April 6 - Jacksonville, FL/Springing The Blues

April 26 - Pittsburgh, PA/August Wilson Center For African American Culture
May 4 - Memphis, TN/Beale St Music Fest

May 5 - Dallas, TX/Intl Guitar Fest
May 10 - Tupelo, MS, Gumtree Festival
May 15 - New York, NY/The Loft at City Winery

May 18 - Durham, NC/Durham Blues & Brews Festival
May 17 - Washington DC/Pie Shop
May 27 - Asheville, NC/The Grey Eagle
May 30 - Atlanta, GA/Eddie's Attic

May 31 - Atlanta, GA/Eddie's Attic
June 1 - Indianola, MS/Club Ebony
June 9 - Delaware City, DE/St Georges Blues Fest
July 6-7 - Portland, OR/ Waterfront Blues Fest
July 13 - Nescopeck, PA/Briggs Farm Blues Fest
July 21 - Winthrop, WA/R&B Fest
July 27 - Sisters, OR/R&B Fest
Aug 3 - Mammoth Lakes, CA/Bluesapalooza
Aug 9 - Chattanooga, TN/Songbirds South Stage
Sept 13 - Los Angeles, CA/El Rey


DATES WITH BUDDY GUY:
Mar 21 - Orlando, FL/Hard Rock Live
Mar 22 - Fort Lauderdale, FL/Broward Center
Mar 29 - Houston, TX/House Of Blues
April 9 - San Juan Capistrano, CA/The Coach House
April 11 - Carmel, CA/Sunset Center
April 12 - Santa Rosa, CA/Luther Burbank Center
April 13 - San Francisco, CA/The Masonic
April 14 - Sacramento, CA/The Crest Theatre
May 1 - Nashville, TN/Ryman Auditorium
May 3 - LaGrange, GA/Sweetland Amphitheater


DATES WITH VAMPIRE WEEKEND:

Aug 16 - Oklahoma City, OK/The Criterion
Aug 17 - Houston, TX/White Oak Music Hall
Aug 18 - Irving, TX/Toyota Music Factory - Texas Lottery Plaza
Aug 20 - Austin, TX/ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Aug 21 - Austin, TX/ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Aug 24 - Miami, FL/James L. Knight Center
Aug 25 - St. Augustine, FL/St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Aug 27 - Atlanta, GA/Fox Theatre
Aug 30 - Norfolk, VA/Constant Convocation Center
Sep 03 - Boston, MA/Agganis Arena
Sep 04 - Philadelphia, PA/Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Sep 08 - Montreal, QC, Canada/MTELUS

 

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Alligator Records Signs Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
2/19/2019
Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. This 21st century bluesman's debut album, KINGFISH, is set for release on May 17, 2019.

Alligator Records Signs Christone "Kingfish" Ingram

Alligator Records Signs Christone "Kingfish" Ingram

RollingStone.com
Premieres Fresh Out, New Track Featuring Buddy Guy

Showcasing at Tastemaker "NON-COMMvention" in Philadelphia

On The Road Opening for Buddy Guy and Vampire Weekend

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

A rising blues prodigy….A torchbearer.
--NPR Music


Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues.

--Buddy Guy

Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. This 21st century bluesman's debut album, KINGFISH, is set for release on May 17, 2019. Today, February 19, RollingStone.com will premiere the album track Fresh Out, a sizzling duet featuring music legend Buddy Guy. The first radio single, Outside Of This Town, will be released on April 15. Additionally, on May 16, Kingfish will showcase at WXPN-FM's annual, influential NON-COMMvention in Philadelphia. The convention brings together public (non-commercial) radio music programmers and managers, music industry representatives, and music media from across the US. From there, Kingfish will tour, headlining his own shows and opening dates for Vampire Weekend and Buddy Guy.

Listen to Fresh Out here.

Recorded in Nashville and produced by two-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Louis Walker, George Thorogood), KINGFISH showcases Ingram’s blistering, raw and inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and memorable songwriting. He co-wrote eight of the album’s twelve tracks. “A lot of folks know me for my covers,” he says of his many YouTube videos, some with millions of views each. “That’s why it’s important for me to release original music."

Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer considers Kingfish a natural fit for the blues and roots label. “At the age of 20, Kingfish is one of the most exciting and passionate young artists I’ve seen in many years. He’s creating new music that feels like blues but doesn’t copy what’s already been done. His roots are firmly in the Mississippi Delta, and you can hear that raw Delta honesty in his playing and singing. His guitar work is technically dazzling, but it’s all about the emotions of the song and moving the audience. He’s perfectly capable of crowd-pleasing shredding, but his music is remarkably mature. He knows which are the important notes, the notes that tell the story and grab the audience, and he leaves out the extraneous ones. He sings with the intensity and directness of a seasoned blues artist. He venerates the blues masters of the past and present but is eagerly making his own statement, inspired by the music they created. I’m watching him become a young, visionary blues giant. He has an amazing future ahead of him, and I’m proud that he’s joined the Alligator family.”

Sprung from the same earth as so many of the Delta blues masters, Kingfish comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49. A student of the Delta’s musical history, he is acutely aware of the musicians and the music that emerged from his corner of the world. “I do think I have an old soul, that I’ve been here before,” he says. “I’m moving forward with one foot in the past. You don’t see too many kids into blues music. In my town, every kid wants to be a rapper – I wanted to do something no one else was doing.”  And although he grew up near the crossroads where Robert Johnson allegedly cut a deal with the devil, Kingfish insists he didn’t do any of that to make his guitar howl the blues. “I just practice all the time,” he says, “that’s the only deal I made, and it’s with myself."

Funk music superstar Bootsy Collins began sharing Kingfish’s YouTube videos online, telling his followers, “this is how a child can influence others.” Rapper The Game did the same. Christone’s appeal beyond blues was immediate. He appeared on The Rachael Ray Show as well as The Steve Harvey Show. He was cast in season two of the Netflix program Luke Cage after the series lead producer saw one of his videos. Two of his cover songs appear on the show’s soundtrack album, which immediately introduced him to a young audience. Kingfish recently performed in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with rap legend Rakim, who also appeared in Luke Cage.

With the release of KINGFISH, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is ready to blaze a trail with the blues torch that’s been passed to him. 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 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.”

Kingfish will be performing in concert across North America. He will be headlining his own shows as well as opening select dates for Buddy Guy and Vampire Weekend:

HEADLINING & FESTIVAL DATES:
Feb 24 - Clearwater, FL/Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival

Mar 1 - Oxford, MS/Proud Larry's
Mar 30 - Pearl, MS/Pearl City Park
April 6 - Jacksonville, FL/Springing The Blues

April 26 - Pittsburgh, PA/August Wilson Center For African American Culture
May 4 - Memphis, TN/Beale St Music Fest

May 5 - Dallas, TX/Intl Guitar Fest
May 15 - New York, NY/The Loft at City Winery

May 17 - Washington DC/Pie Shop
May 27, Asheville, NC/The Grey Eagle
May 31 - Atlanta, GA/Eddie's Attic
June 9 - Delaware City, DE/St Georges Blues Fest
July 6-7 - Portland, OR/ Waterfront Blues Fest
July 13 - Nescopeck, PA/Briggs Farm Blues Fest
July 21 - Winthrop, WA/R&B Fest
July 27 - Sisters, OR/R&B Fest
Aug 3 - Mammoth Lakes/Bluesapalooza
Aug 9 - Chattanooga, TN/Songbirds South Stage


DATES WITH BUDDY GUY:
Mar 21 - Orlando, FL/Hard Rock Live
Mar 22 - Fort Lauderdale, FL/Broward Center
Mar 29 - Houston, TX/House Of Blues
April 9 - San Juan Capistrano, CA/The Coach House
April 11 - Carmel, CA/Sunset Center
April 12 - Santa Rosa, CA/Luther Burbank Center
April 13 - San Francisco, CA/The Masonic
April 14 - Sacramento, CA/The Crest Theatre
May 1 - Nashville, TN/Ryman Auditorium
May 3 - LaGrange, GA/Sweetland Amphitheater


DATES WITH VAMPIRE WEEKEND:
Aug 16 - Oklahoma City, OK/The Criterion
Aug 17 - Houston, TX/White Oak Music Hall
Aug 18 - Irving, TX/Toyota Music Factory - Texas Lottery Plaza
Aug 20 - Austin, TX/ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Aug 21 - Austin, TX/ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Aug 24 - Miami, FL/James L. Knight Center
Aug 25 - St. Augustine, FL/St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Aug 27 - Atlanta, GA/Fox Theatre
Aug 30 - Norfolk, VA/Constant Convocation Center
Sep 03 - Boston, MA/Agganis Arena
Sep 04 - Philadelphia, PA/Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Sep 08 - Montreal, QC, Canada/MTELUS

 

Click here for the full story

Alligator President Bruce Iglauer "Talkin' Blues" Interview
1/21/2019

Alligator President Bruce Iglauer speaks with audiovisual music journalist Mako Funasaka on the "Talkin' Blues" podcast. They discuss the new book, Bitten By The Blues and Iglauer's life in music.

 

Alligator President Bruce Iglauer "Talkin' Blues" Interview

Alligator President Bruce Iglauer speaks with audiovisual music journalist Mako Funasaka on the Talkin' Blues podcast. They discuss the new book, Bitten By The Blues and Iglauer's life in music.

The podcast can be heard here:
https://talkinblues.podbean.com/e/talkin-blues-podcast-episode-144-bruce-iglauer/
Click here for the full story

Alligator President Bruce Iglauer To Discuss "Bitten By The Blues" On CHICAGO TONIGHT
1/16/2019
Alligator Records president and founder Bruce Iglauer will appear on WTTW-TV's Chicago Tonight on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 to discuss his new book, Bitten by the Blues, The Alligator Records Story. The program airs locally at 7:00pm Central time.

Alligator President Bruce Iglauer To Discuss "Bitten By The Blues" On CHICAGO TONIGHT

Alligator Records president and founder Bruce Iglauer will appear on WTTW-TV's Chicago Tonight on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 to discuss his new book, Bitten by the Blues, The Alligator Records Story. The program airs locally at 7:00pm Central time. Co-authored by Patrick A. Roberts, the book was released on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 by The University of Chicago Press. The book is a memoir of a life immersed in the blues -- and the business of running an independent blues label. Bitten By The Blues takes readers behind the scenes, offering larger than life stories of musicians, recording sessions, and what it's like to work with the legends of the genre.

From first hearing Hound Dog Taylor at Florence's Lounge on Chicago's South Side to building Alligator Records one release at a time to running the biggest blues label in the world, Iglauer and Roberts take readers on a 50-year journey through the blues from local Chicago bars to festival stages across the globe.

According to Iglauer, "We wanted to paint vivid pictures of the charismatic blues immortals that I knew so well, like Hound Dog Taylor, Son Seals, Koko Taylor and Albert Collins, as well as to give insight into the creative process of planning and recording some of their classic albums. And we wanted to give the readers a close-up look at the exciting and visionary artists who are carrying the Alligator tradition into the future, like Marcia Ball, Shemekia Copeland, Selwyn Birchwood and Toronzo Cannon. It's also an insider's look at how the independent record business has changed over the last 50 years, and how those changes have impacted the artists who create the music."

The Chicago Tribune says, "Apart from the musicians themselves, few Chicagoans have done more for the genre – or witnessed more of its history from the inside – than Iglauer."



Bruce Iglauer is president and founder of Alligator Records, the largest contemporary blues label in the world. He is also a cofounder of Living Blues magazine and a founder of the Chicago Blues Festival.

Patrick A. Roberts is associate professor in the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. He is the coauthor of Give 'Em Soul, Richard! Race, Radio, and Rhythm and Blues in Chicago.

 

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Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce Killin' It Live Tour
1/14/2019
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers have announced plans for their 2019 Killin' It Live North American tour. Killin’ It Live -- the band's new CD set for March 1 release in the US and Canada -- is a nonstop, spirited mix of blues, rock and soul, with rollicking, hypnotic grooves fueled by Castro’s fervent vocals and the band's muscular musicianship.

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce Killin' It Live Tour

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce Killin' It Live Tour

New Album Killin' It Live Set For March 1 Release In US And Canada

   

"Castro’s aggressive, inspired attack on vocals and guitar is phenomenal."
–Washington Post

"Tommy Castro & The Painkillers showcase the power of the blues, soul and down-and-dirty rock ‘n’ roll...rousing and infectious. This is energizing, scorching, soul-shaking music….pure pleasure."
–Living Blues

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers have announced plans for their 2019 Killin' It Live North American tour. Killin’ It Live -- the band's new CD set for March 1 release in the US and Canada -- is a nonstop, spirited mix of blues, rock and soul, with rollicking, hypnotic grooves fueled by Castro’s fervent vocals and the band's muscular musicianship. On that same date, the band will begin their tour in Castro's longtime stomping ground of Northern California before making their way to Canada, and then heading to the Midwest and the east coast. Full dates and locations are below and can also be found here.

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues to fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He’s performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. The Painkillers—bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown  and keyboardist Michael Emerson—have now been playing together over four years. After hundreds of live shows, they have coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, making them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today. Blues Revue said simply, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong."

With the group firing on all cylinders, Castro knew the time was right to answer his fans’ demands for a live album. Killin’ It Live captures the band at the peak of their creative and improvisational powers, and features one unforgettable, unpredictable performance after another. “This is the best band we’ve ever had,” says Castro. We really got something going on beyond just being good musicians. Every song we play live now has that right feel—all the dynamics. It allows us to jam out more on stage. Killin’ It Live is what you hear when you see us live.” Featuring songs from throughout Castro’s career, Killin’ It Live was produced by Castro and engineer/songwriter Ron Alan Cohen and recorded at venues in Texas, New York, Michigan and California during 2018. The album includes eight Castro originals spanning his entire career and two Castro-ized covers, each showing a slightly different side of his multifaceted musical personality.

 

KILLIN' IT LIVE 2019 North American Tour:

March 01, 2019   Yoshi's, Oakland, CA   
March 02, 2019   Crest Theatre (co-bill with Elvin Bishop), Sacramento, CA          
March 08, 2019   Jazzbones, Tacoma, WA  
March 09, 2019   Festival Place, Sherwood Park, AB, CANADA  
March 10, 2019   Mikey’s on 12th Avenue, Calgary, AB, CANADA        
March 12, 2019   The Triple Door, Seattle, WA    
March 13, 2019   Conway Muse, Conway, WA   
March 14, 2019   Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland, OR   
March 15, 2019   The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, Eugene, OR    
March 22, 2019   Rancho Nicasio, Nicasio, CA    
March 23, 2019   Rancho Nicasio, Nicasio, CA    
March 29, 2019   Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, Fond du Lac, WI          
March 30, 2019   Medina Entertainment Center, Medina, MN   

April 02, 2019   Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
April 03, 2019   The Castle Theatre, Bloomington, IL
April 04, 2019   City Winery, Chicago, IL
April 05, 2019   Music Box Supper Club (co-bill with Ronnie Baker Brooks), Cleveland, OH
April 06, 2019   Rhine Haus Bier Hall, Youngstown, OH
April 07, 2019   Moondog’s, Blawnox, PA         
April 09, 2019   The Loft at City Winery, New York, NY 
April 10, 2019   Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ   
April 11, 2019   Daryl’s House, Pawling, NY    
April 12, 2019   Bridge Street Live, Collinsville, CT
April 13, 2019   Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA 
April 14, 2019   City Winery, The Haymarket Lounge, Boston, MA     
April 16, 2019   Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA          
April 18, 2019   Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
April 19, 2019   Pearl Street Warehouse, Washington, DC          
April 20, 2019   Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD
April 26, 2019   Callahan’s Music Hall, Auburn Hills, MI          
April 27, 2019   Franke Center for the Arts, Marshall, MI   
April 28, 2019   Natalie's, Worthington OH
April 30, 2019   The Southgate House Revival, Newport, KY   

May 01, 2019   Lincoln Theatre, Belleville, IL    
May 03, 2019   Rose Music Hall, Columbia, MO
May 04, 2019   Knuckleheads Saloon, Kansas City, MO 
May 05, 2019   Zoo Bar, Lincoln NE        

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Seventeen Alligator Artists Receive 25 Blues Music Award Nominations
1/9/2019

On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, The Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 40th Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. Seventeen Alligator recording artists received a total of 25 nominations. Shemekia Copeland leads all Alligator artists with five nominations, followed by The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling with three and one each additionally for Moss and Gruenling.

Seventeen Alligator Artists Receive 25 Blues Music Award Nominations

Shemekia Copeland Receives Five Nominations
The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling Receives Three In Addition To One Solo Nomination Each

Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials Receive Two, as does guitar hero Tinsley Ellis, newcomer Lindsay Beaver and acoustic trio Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz and Giles Robson
 
Selwyn Birchwood, Marcia Ball, Toronzo Cannon, Rick Estrin, Kid Andersen, Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager and Bruce Katz Each Receive One
 

On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, The Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 40th Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. Seventeen Alligator recording artists received a total of 25 nominations. Shemekia Copeland leads all Alligator artists with five nominations, followed by The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling with three and one each additionally for Moss and Gruenling.
 
The coveted Album Of The Year category features four Alligator releases of the five nominees: Shemekia Copeland's America's Child, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling's The High Cost Of Low Living, Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz and Giles Robson's Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues and Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager's Rough Cut. Three Alligator artists -- Rick Estrin, Selwyn Birchwood and Toronzo Cannon -- received nods for Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year. Both Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials and The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling were nominated for the top Band Of The Year award.

The 40th Annual Blues Music Awards will be presented in Memphis on May 9, 2019 at the Cook Convention Center.
 
Alligator artists and nominations are as follows:

SHEMEKIA COPELAND:
Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: America's Child
Album Of The Year: America's Child
Song Of The Year: Ain't Got Time For Hate (by John Hahn & Will Kimbrough)
Best Instrumentalist - Vocals


THE NICK MOSS BAND FEATURING DENNIS GRUENLING:
Band Of The Year
Album Of The Year: The High Cost Of Low Living
Traditional Blues Album Of The Year: The High Cost Of Low Living
Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year: Nick Moss
Best Instrumentalist - Harmonica: Dennis Gruenling

 
LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS:
Band Of The Year
Entertainer Of The Year: Lil' Ed Williams
 

TINSLEY ELLIS:
Blues Rock Artist Of The Year
Blues Rock Album Of The Year: Winning Hand


RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS:
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year: Rick Estrin
Best Instrumentalist - Guitar: Kid Andersen

 
LINDSAY BEAVER:
Traditional Blues Female Artist Of The Year (Koko Taylor Award)
Best Emerging Artist Album: Tough As Love


JOE LOUIS WALKER,
BRUCE KATZ, GILES ROBSON:
Album Of The Year: Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues
Acoustic Blues Album Of The Year: Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues
Best Instrumentalist - Piano: Bruce Katz

 
SELWYN BIRCHWOOD:
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year
 

MARCIA BALL:
Best Instrumentalist - Piano


TORONZO CANNON:
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year

 
CURTIS SALGADO & ALAN HAGER:
Album Of The Year: Rough Cut

Click here to see a full list of all Blues Music Award nominees:
https://blues.org/40th-blues-music-award-nominations-announced/





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Alligator Records To Be Represented By Amped Distribution
12/17/2018
Beginning January 1, 2019, Alligator Records, the Chicago-based blues and roots label, will be represented for physical distribution in the U.S. by AMPED Distribution, a division of Alliance Entertainment.

Alligator Records To Be Represented By Amped Distribution

Alligator Records stands today as one of the most enduring and revered independent blues labels in the world.”   --Chicago Tribune

Beginning January 1, 2019, Alligator Records, the Chicago-based blues and roots label, will be represented for physical distribution in the U.S. by AMPED Distribution, a division of Alliance Entertainment. AMPED is one of the largest independent distributors in the country, representing over 150 labels. For the last 18 years, Alligator has been distributed by Ryko Distribution and ADA. 

According to Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer, “We’re sad to be leaving ADA, who have been great partners throughout this volatile time in the industry.  Alligator has been blessed with strong national distribution for many years, beginning in 2000 with Ryko Distribution, which later morphed into ADA. We look forward to continuing success as a member of AMPED’s family of labels.”

Dean Tabaac, head of AMPED Distribution, says "Bruce Iglauer and his staff have established Alligator Records to be one of the most iconic and important blues labels ever. AMPED is thrilled and honored to be entrusted as Alligator's new distributor and to become a part of their growing legacy for years to come. AMPED's ability to connect Alligator's impressive roster of quintessential artists with fans wherever they shop is the core of who we are and we are delighted Bruce Iglauer feels the same way."

Alligator's 2019 releases include The Kentucky Headhunters' Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' Killin' It Live as well as new releases from Toronzo Cannon, Coco Montoya, The Cash Box Kings, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling and more.

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