Alligator Records / Blog

NPR First Listen: Shemekia Copeland's Outskirts Of Love

This week, Shemekia Copeland​'s Outskirts Of Love will be featured by NPR Music​ as their First Listen (9/3 – 9/11). Fans will be able to listen to a stream of the entire new album in the week leading up to release which is next Friday, September 11th. The accompanying rave review says it all: “Copeland's genre-melding fluidity would be for naught if she didn't possess such a powerhouse voice. She brings a perfect balance of authority and understatement to each song.” http://www.npr.org/2015/09/02/436334718/first-listen-shemekia-copeland-outskirts-of-love.

Pre-order your copy of Outskirts Of Love on Alligator Records​ here: http://www.alligator.com/albums/Outskirts-Of-Love/

#FirstListen #NPR

Three Alligator Artists Receive Five Blues Music Awards

The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 2015 Blues Music Awards, the blues world's highest honors. Three Alligator artists received five Blues Music Awards. Elvin Bishop led all artists with three wins--Album, Song and Band of the Year. Selwyn Birchwood, winner of the 2013 Int’l Blues Challenge, received the award for Best New Artist Album of the Year. Marcia Ball won the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award, her 10th career Blues Music Award. Read all about it here: http://bit.ly/BMAWinners


TuneIn -- the world's largest audio network -- officially launched Alligator Records Radio today, December 9, 2014. The Alligator Records Radio station on TuneIn will stream songs 24/7 from Alligator's extensive catalog of music covering 43 years of blues and roots rock releases. Exclusively available on TuneIn, Alligator Records Radio is one of only a handful of label stations to be developed and curated by TuneIn itself. The station is available at http://s.tunein.com/alligator, or fans can simply search "Alligator Records" on the free TuneIn Radio app (available at iTunes and Google Play) or on TuneIn.com to listen to Alligator Records Radio. TuneIn is also available on more than 200 platforms, including smartphones, tablets, vehicles and gaming consoles. Starting today, TuneIn First will preview the entire upcoming Alligator Records digital-only Best Of compilation from roots rocker Eric Lindell. That feature will be available here. TuneIn -- with over 50 million monthly active users -- provides listeners access to over 100,000 real radio stations and more than four million podcasts streaming from every continent. According to Summer Watson, TuneIn's VP of Content, "TuneIn has always been focused on connecting people and communities through their shared love of audio. Working with such a seminal voice as Alligator Records to expand our footprint in blues and independent music was a natural fit for TuneIn. With this new curated station, blues fans all over the world will now have a place they can go to hear classic blues favorites, mixed in with new releases from internationally recognized artists." Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer is in full agreement, saying, "The timing is right. TuneIn is a perfect fit for Alligator. The launch of Alligator Records Radio will bring our music to a whole new generation of blues fans all over the world." Proudly independent Alligator Records is home to some of the world's foremost blues and roots rock talent and is regarded by fans and the media alike as the top contemporary blues record label in the world. The Washington Post said, "Alligator is the premiere blues label." The Chicago Sun-Times added, "Alligator is numero uno among indie blues labels, with artists representing the best in contemporary blues." The current roster reads like a Who's Who of contemporary blues, featuring established artists including James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, The Holmes Brothers, Marcia Ball, Joe Louis Walker, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Curtis Salgado, Roomful Of Blues and newcomers Jesse Dee, Jarekus Singleton and Selwyn Birchwood. The catalog features classic albums by Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Charlie Musselwhite, Son Seals, Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, Luther Allison, Professor Longhair, Mavis Staples and many others. From the early days of recording only Chicago blues artists to the addition of national and international artists to the label's commitment to younger roots acts who are creating new blues for a new generation of blues fans, Alligator continues to forge full steam ahead. After four decades, Alligator is still dedicated to discovering great new talent, proving that the passion, soul and redemptive power of blues and roots music is alive and well. According to Iglauer, "Alligator is committed to bringing blues and roots music to new fans and getting them as excited about the music as I am. I want the future of the blues and the future of Alligator Records to be one and the same." Check out the blues here http://s.tunein.com/alligator


Got the blues? Check out @Pop Market Music to get your hands on this exclusive Alligator Records 40th Anniversary blues vinyl bundle, available at a discount price. Click for details: http://myplay.me/14yz

The Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection Contest

2011 will be a special year for Alligator Records. It's our 40th anniversary, and we're celebrating with a double CD including the best tracks from our entire catalog. We need YOUR help to choose the perfect songs for this release! Click on the link below and let us know which five Alligator songs you would like us to include on this very special collection. Ten random contributors will win a copy of the CD.

Enter now because the contest ends on Wednesday, November 24th. Thanks as always for your support!



Grammy Award-winning blues harmonica master James "Mr. Superharp" Cotton returns to Alligator Records with the new CD, Giant, set for a September 28 release. Giant is a ferocious blast of brash power blues from Cotton, one of the few bluesmen to have harmonicas literally explode from the pure force of his playing. Cotton, who in 2010 celebrates his 66th year as a professional musician (starting at the age of nine), has recorded 28 solo albums, including two highly-regarded releases for Alligator in the 1980s and the famed Harp Attack! with Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch in 1990. The New York Daily News calls Cotton "the greatest living blues harmonica player." The New York Times adds, "Cotton helped define modern blues harmonica with his moaning, wrenching phrases and his train-whistle wails." Rolling Stone says Cotton is "among the greats of all time. He blazes on harp with remarkable and brilliant virtuosity."

Recorded by Stuart Sullivan at Wire Recording in Austin, Texas, Giant features 12 tracks, including four new Cotton originals and co-writes, alongside songs made famous by Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Ivory Joe Hunter and others. Throughout his career, Cotton has always had great bands, and the players on Giant are no exception. With guitarists/vocalists Slam Allen and Tom Holland, bassist Noel Neal (Ronnie James Weber on one song) and drummer Kenny Neal, Jr., Giant is not just a reminder of Cotton's legendary status, it is a remarkably vibrant and hard-hitting album made by one of the true blues masters.

Cotton joined Alligator Records in 1984, releasing High Compression and Live From Chicago: Mr. Superharp Himself!!! (which earned him his very first Grammy nomination). In 1990 he joined fellow harp masters Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch for the all-star release Harp Attack!. He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for his Verve album, Deep In The Blues.

During the 2000s Cotton has continued recording and touring relentlessly, playing all over the world. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2006. The San Francisco Examiner says, "James Cotton is an inimitable blues-harmonica legend. His wailing harmonica blows them away. His jazzy improvisations on the blues are full of fun and good humor. The blues don't get much better."

Today Cotton, while turning over the singing duties to his road band, still blows the reeds right out of his harp. With Giant, James Cotton's aggressive, powerful blues harmonica playing is a true force of nature. In June 2010 Cotton was honored at New York's Lincoln Center, where his friends Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Taj Mahal, Shemekia Copeland and others paid tribute in an all-star concert. There James Cotton played in front of yet another sold-out venue, with fans all cheering the man known worldwide as "Mr. Superharp," an undisputed giant of the blues.


Guitar Shorty Interview at A1Blues.com

Mark Wade from A1Blues.com talks with Guitar Shorty. They talk about the new record, Bare Knuckle, his history, who he's played with and who went AWOL to see him perform.

You can listen to or download the podcast http://a1artistspotlight.com/2010/06/03/142-guitar-shorty-bare-knuckle/

Buy Bare Knuckle here http://www.alligator.com/index.cfm?section=store&page=album&albumID=AL4934

Bnois King Interviewed at A1Blues.com

Mark Wade from A1Blues.com talks with Bnois King from the Texas duo SMOKIN' JOE KUBEK & BNOIS KING. Listen to the podcast or download it here...



On Thursday, May 7 the Blues Foundation awarded Alligator recording artist Tommy Castro four 2010 Blues Music Awards, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award. With his four wins, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Castro took home more awards than any other artist at the 31st Annual Blues Music Award ceremony held in Memphis at The Cook Convention Center. He also won the award for Band Of The Year, Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year (for his Alligator debut CD, Hard Believer), and for Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year.

Labelmate Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. (of Buckwheat Zydeco) won the award for Best Instrumentalist - Accordion. The band recently won the Grammy Award in the Zydeco category for its Alligator debut, Lay Your Burden Down.

The Blues Music Awards are recognized as the highest honor given to blues artists.

TOMMY CASTRO B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Band of the Year Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year: Hard Believer Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO Instrumentalist Of The Year - Other (Accordion)