Alligator Records, Genuine Houserockin' Music! Moves your feet, your body, your soul. Blues, Roots, and Soul.
Celebrated blues, R&B and Americana vocal powerhouse delivers the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2018's America's Child, winner of the Blues Music Award for Album Of The Year. The new album is again produced by Will Kimbrough and features guest performances and/or songwriting by Kimbrough, Jason Isbell, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Orphan Brigade, Steve Cropper, Duane Eddy and Shawn Mullins. Uncivil War finds Shemekia blazing an exhilarating roots music trail, with many of the songs reflecting the spirit of our turbulent times.
Aggressive press, radio and social media support for an artist with past coverage on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, CNN, CBS-TV's Saturday Early Show, Tavis Smiley Show, NPR'S Weekend Edition, World Café, Mountain Stage and E-Town. In addition, her praises have been sung by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPRMusic. Com, AllMusic. Com, PopMatters. Com, NoDepression. Com, Paste. Com and many more. Radio promotion at Americana, AAA and blues specialty radio. The title track, released as a digital single earlier this year, has already received airplay at all three. America's Child charted Top Ten on Americana single and album charts, and also charted at AAA. Blues specialty radio kept the album on Living Blues' radio chart for six straight months. Shemekia has made hundreds of appearances worldwide at festivals, clubs and arts centers for the last 20 years. Tour dates throughout the U. S. in support will begin as soon as they are feasible. With Uncivil War, Shemekia's passion-packed singing breathes fire into solemn, gospel-drenched anthems, lowdown blues, crunching rockers and frisky New Orleans R&B. On captivating original songs and invigorating new takes on tracls by the Rolling Stones, Junior Parker and her father, famed bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland, she commands listeners' attention while exploring life's daily struggles and triumphs, both political and personal.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bishop and Grammy-winning harmonica great Musselwhite join forces for a fun and historic collaboration of front porch blues. Among the most famous bluesmen in the world, with over five decades each of recording and performing, Elvin and Charlie have scanned over 600,000 units combined, despite over two dozen of their releases coming before the advent of Soundscan. Aggressive press, radio and social media outreach around the great story of these two legends recording their first album together. Radio promotion for regular airplay on Triple A and Americana stations, as well as play on blues specialty shows that are guaranteed to give it bountiful spins. Tour dates at theatres and performing arts centers as they become feasible.
World-renowned, horn-fueled "little big band" releases their first release in seven years and their first new studio recording in nine. Roomful of Blues have over 364,000 career scans, even though their first six releases predated SoundScan. 2011's Hook, Line & Sinker, has scanned over 7,900 units. Tour dates in support of the new release begin in their native Northeast region, where they still do the most touring and are regarded as legends.
Atlanta-based southern blues rocker Tinsley Ellis has been burning up the road for nearly 40 years and has another lengthy coast-to-coast tour lined up in support of Ice Cream In Hell. A blazing guitarist and forceful singer, Tinsley is making the best music of his career right now and living to play live. He'll have a warm-up tour with Alligator labelmate Tommy Castro in November, play the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in January and then hit the highway first week of February behind the new release.
Toronzo Cannon is the most exciting bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades, playing brawny, rock-inspired guitar and singing original, slice-of-life lyrics that speak to today's listeners. The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp finds Toronzo raising the ante on his modern day blues vision, with 12 distinctive new songs that skillfully blend witty, "ain't it the truth" anthems with searing topical observations. Through it all Toronzo burns on guitar and brings his lyrics to life with spirited, soul-drenched singing.
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats are back with their most expansive collection yet of brilliant blues and roots music filled with cunning songs and extraordinary musicianship. Contemporary celebrates the band's ability to use tough blues and raucous roadhouse rock as jumping off points for exhilarating new roots music. It's chock-full of originals that combine savvy songwriting, instrumental prowess and perpetual grooves into a distinctively modern blues sound, highlighted by the epic title track, a dizzying, Zappa-esque mash of Chicago blues, uptown funk, balls-out rocking and muscular rapping.
2019 release. Premiere blues rock guitarist Montoya is the only one of his peers with the soulful vocals to match his six-string prowess. Coming In Hot is jam-packed with stellar, unpredictable, spiraling solos played with Coco's signature full-bodied tone, and singing that carries fury and passion equal to his powerhouse fretwork.
Peerless Chicago blues band, led by razor-sharp singer/guitarist Nick Moss and harmonica virtuoso Dennis Gruenling, return with another sterling collection of combustible, cocksure blues and rootsy rock 'n' roll, genuine, deep and potent. Thirteen original songs featuring searing, tough vocals, blazing guitar and powerhouse harmonica. Up-to-the-minute lyrics melded with classic blues sounds.
2019 release. Chicago harmonica master Branch is a three-time Grammy nominee, multiple Blues Music Award-winner and for over 40 years the leader of one of the world's premier blues bands, The Sons Of Blues. His deep love for blues traditions and the explosive, cliché-free manner in which he makes them his own have earned him a worldwide following. Roots And Branches - The Songs Of Little Walter features 15 songs written by or made famous by the harp genius. Each one is brought to new life by Branch and The Sons of Blues as they blend elements of soul, funk and gospel into the proceedings while remaining true to the integrity of the originals. This is essential listening for any blues fan.
World class Chicago blues masters The Cash Box Kings deliver a fresh, exhilarating take on the real deal Windy City sound, filled with soul deep singing, brawny harmonica, stinging guitar and infectious ensemble playing. They are revered around the world for their dedication to creating rich, timeless blues.
2019 release. 20 year-old blues firebrand comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, with a sensational debut packed with piercing guitar, husky, impassioned singing and potent songwriting. Kingfish reinvigorates the blues with Ingram's infectious, youthful fire. Ingram's mentor, Buddy Guy, makes a cameo on "Fresh Out," four-time Grammy winner Keb Mo is featured on a track and plays on five more, and Chicago blues harp master Billy Branch appears on one.
2019 release. World class Chicago blues masters The Cash Box Kings deliver a fresh, exhilarating take on the real deal Windy City sound, filled with soul deep singing, brawny harmonica, stinging guitar and infectious ensemble playing. They are revered around the world for their dedication to creating rich, timeless blues.
Orange Vinyl. One of the most popular roots music acts in the world keeps one of the busiest live performance schedules in all of music. Killin' It - Live is the band's first live release, and one their legion of fans have been asking for. A soul-satisfying romp with blustery blues, gritty R&B and hard-charging roadhouse rock, the set list includes fan favorites from throughout Tommy's career.
Live album from Grammy and Country Music Award-winning Southern rockers packs an adrenaline-fueled punch from the opening crunch of "Big Boss Man" to a thunderous take on the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down." The fun continues on three bonus studio tracks featuring Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson that end the disc, as JJ and KHH bring out the best in blues chestnuts "Rock Me Baby" and "Hi-Heeled Sneakers," plus a combustible KHH original "Rock 'N' Roller."
A tremendous raw talent with a poet’s soul...Lindell writes from the heart with a fully realized musical vision” –Chicago Sun-Times “Impressive super slinky blues and rock with a taste of cOuntry twang. Bound to win over roots music fans for years to come” –Guitar Player “Stellar, sublime blue-eyed soul and romping New Orleans R&B, played at the intersection of soul, blues and roots rock” –New Orleans Times-Picayune With his raspy, soulful voice and instantly memorable original songs, roots-rocking multi-instrumentalist Eric Lindell is a true one-of-a-kind talent. Mixing West Coast rock and swampy New Orleans R&B with honky tonk country and Memphis soul, Lindell creates American roots music that is both surprisingly fresh and sweetly familiar. Since his first self-release over two decades ago, Lindell has earned critical and popular acclaim, first in his dual home bases of New Orleans and Northern California and then across the country. Although influenced by American roots music from blues to country to rock, Lindell’s style is all his own. He has performed thousands of gigs in roadhouses, clubs, concert halls and festivals and has appeared on national radio and television. His live shows overflow with happy, dancing people singing the words to every song. By the time of his 2006 Alligator Records debut, Change In The Weather, Lindell had released five albums and already had earned a devoted and growing fan following. Change In The Weather, with its unforgettable songs and undeniable melodies, earned him regular radio rotation and piles of critical praise. The Los Angeles Daily News said Lindell plays “passionate blue-eyed soul smothered with a big heap of New Orleans funk. He makes you feel like dancing all the way down Canal Street.” Two subsequent Alligator releases and a series of albums on other labels kept Lindell in demand and on the road. Now Lindell returns to Alligator with Revolution In Your Heart, featuring his most engaging and personal writing and his most irresistible, instantly hummable melodies. Revolution In Your Heart was recorded at Studio In The Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana and produced by Lindell and Benjamin Mumphrey. Lindell plays just about everything on the recording—guitar, bass, keyboards, organ, harmonica—except drums, which are expertly played by Willie McMains. The only other musician on the record is keyboardist Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Tinsley Ellis), who plays piano on Millie Kay. The twelve universally relatable original songs—many of them autobiographical—combine sunshiny melodies and thick, greasy grooves, and paint vivid pictures of day to day living. From the honest and sage title track to the long-ago but still fresh memories of Grandpa Jim, Pat West and Kelly Ridge, Revolution In Your Heart feels not only somehow immediately familiar, it’s also profoundly moving. Asked about the timeless appeal of his songs, Lindell simply says, “Music runs deep, it’s a powerful thing.” Born in San Mateo, California in 1969, Lindell spent countless hours in San Francisco, soaking up the musical sounds of the city, eventually leading him to pick up first the bass and then the guitar and harmonica. With a love of music and skateboarding, Lindell formed a few punky garage bands early on while his musical horizons expanded. He listened to the deep blues of Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Jimmy Reed and Albert King before drifting toward the R&B sounds of The Impressions, Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, soaking up the soul and learning how to craft a song. After performing at bars on the West Coast with a few short-lived bands, Eric formed his own group in 1993. He quickly gained a loyal Northern California audience thanks to countless performances and many late-night jam sessions. Established stars like Charlie Musselwhite and Tom Waits attended his shows, as did overflow crowds of music fans.
ELVIN BISHOP’S BIG FUN TRIO -- Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here Deceptively loose but always tight…the raspy chuckle in Bishop’s singing and the sharp sting of his guitar are forceful and fresh, enduring and fun. –Fresh Air, NPR Raw and simple and utterly endearing. --RELIX Elvin Bishop has always been big fun and is the ringmaster in his own blues circus. With Willy Jordan and Bob Welsh, Bishop whomps out tough, muscular and rollicking boogie-infused blues. --No Depression Ever since Rock & Roll and Blues Hall Of Famer Elvin Bishop first hit the scene with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band back in 1965, he’s blazed his own musical trail. Whether he was playing blistering, eye-popping blues, or penning the evergreen radio hit Fooled Around And Fell In Love, or touring the world for decades delivering his original, good-time countrified blues, Bishop has always inspired his fans with his blistering guitar playing and witty, slice-of-life songs. Rolling Stone calls Bishop “a legendary guitarist” whose playing is “impeccable and spirited…a distinguished American player.” Late in 2015, Elvin Bishop formed The Big Fun Trio, with Bishop on guitar and vocals, and his friends Bob Welsh on piano and guitar and Willy Jordan on cajón (a hand-played Peruvian drumbox) and vocals. After playing just a handful of live dates, the group’s instantly crowd-pleasing music and undeniable chemistry took the blues world by storm. With the release of their self-titled CD in 2017, media and fan response was immediate and overwhelming. DownBeat celebrated Bishop’s “verbal hijinks, outstanding guitar work and country boy friendliness.” OffBeat said The Big Fun Trio was “intricate, funky and uplifting,” declaring them, “consistently great.” With its top-shelf musicianship and front-porch vibe, the album earned a Grammy Award nomination. The Big Fun Trio quickly discovered the more they played live, the more fun they had making music together. So a follow-up recording was an easy decision. The new album, Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here, finds the group fearlessly laying it all on the line. According to Elvin, “With a trio there’s no place to hide—you’ve got to be pourin’ everything you got right out front. You need to be totally into it all the time. It’s really cool to see how people react to the goin’-for-it feel of the music.” The album mixes rousing, new originals, reinventions of three Bishop classics and some unexpected, soul-shaking covers. Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here was produced by Bishop and Steve Savage and recorded at Bishop’s Hog Heaven Studio in Lagunitas, California. Bishop wrote or co-wrote five songs (including two by the entire trio). The potent title track – a tongue-in-cheek State Of The Union address as only Elvin can deliver -- kicks the album off with Bishop aiming his lyrical truths at those in power. The humorous but piercingly direct lyrics take aim at the current political scene while Bishop’s deep blues guitar playing drives the point home. Lookin’ Good finds Bishop autobiographically gazing in the rearview mirror with sharp, wry lyrics accompanied by Welsh’s perfect blues piano. Willy Jordan sings lead on four songs, including blistering reinventions of Jackie Wilson’s Higher And Higher and Ann Peebles’ I Can’t Stand The Rain. Bob Welsh, whose guitar or piano playing highlight every song, pounds the ivories on his own Bob’s Boogie. “This album fell together easily,” says Bishop. “Everything I visualized about the songs – from Bob’s playing to Willy’s singing, came true. Bob and Willy are great musicians.” According to San Francisco Bay native Jordan, who has decades of experience playing drums with artists including John Lee Hooker, Joe Louis Walker and Angela Strehli, playing in the Big Fun Trio is “crazy different. It’s rootsy but also new. We all stayed simple to stay strong.” Wels...
"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." –Rolling Stone "Ellis unleashes a torrent of dazzling musicianship pitched between the exhilarating volatility of rock and roll and the passion of urban blues." –Los Angeles Times Since his Alligator debut 30 years ago, Southern blues-rock guitar wizard, vocalist and songwriter Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.” Now, he makes his triumphant return to Alligator Records with a powerful new album, Winning Hand. Armed with his signature molten licks, melodic riffs and rousing, intense solos, Ellis, as his legions of fans will attest, is among the blues world’s best-loved, hardest working and most well-travelled statesmen. He has performed in all 50 United States as well as in Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, Australia and South America, earning legions of fans with his guitar virtuosity, passionate vocals and memorable original songs. Ellis is also revered as a guitarist’s guitarist, with famous friends including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Jonny Lang and members of Widespread Panic calling on him to sit in and jam. “A musician never got famous staying home,” he says. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, the ten brilliantly performed, fervently sung tracks on Winning Hand include nine originals, ranging from blistering blues to heart-pounding rock to soulful ballads. As his only cover song, Ellis pays tribute to his greatest guitar-playing and songwriting influences with a Freddie King-inspired version of rock legend Leon Russell’s Dixie Lullaby. “Guitar, guitar, guitar is what this album is all about,” says Ellis, who recorded primarily with his 1959 Fender Stratocaster, his 1967 Gibson ES 345 and his 1973 Les Paul Deluxe. Guitar World says, “Ellis’ playing sparkles with depth and subtlety. Whether playing deep, slow blues or uptempo rockers, Ellis rides a gorgeously fat, pure tone.” Born in Atlanta in 1957, Ellis was raised in southern Florida. He discovered the blues through the back door of British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream and The Rolling Stones as well as Southern rockers like The Allman Brothers. One night he and a friend were listening to records when his friend’s older brother told them if they liked blues, they should really be listening to B.B. King. As luck would have it, King was in town for a week, and the upcoming Saturday afternoon show was just for teenagers. Tinsley and his friend went, sitting transfixed in the front row. When B.B. broke a string on Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. After the show, B.B. came out and talked with fans, mesmerizing Tinsley with his warmth and kindness. Tinsley’s fate was now sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. He saw Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and every other blues artist who came through town, always sitting up front, always waiting to meet the artists, take photos, get autographs. And yes, he still has B.B.’s string. Already an accomplished teenaged musician, Ellis left Florida and returned to Atlanta in 1975. He soon joined a gritty local blues band, the Alley Cats. In 1981, along with veteran blues singer and harpist Chicago Bob Nelson, Tinsley formed The Heartfixers, a group that would become Atlanta’s top-drawing blues band. After cutting a few Heartfixers albums for the Landslide label, Ellis was ready to head out on his own. Georgia Blue, Tinsley’s first Alligator release, hit the unprepared public by surprise in 1988. Critics and fans quickly agreed that a new and original guitar hero had emerged. The Chicago Tribune said, “Tinsley Ellis torches with molten fretwork. Ellis takes class...
Award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist Curtis Salgado’s earth-shaking vocals and forceful harmonica playing have been devastating audiences around the world for over 30 years. Guitarist Alan Hager has been wowing fellow musicians from his hometown of Portland, Oregon and beyond for decades. Hager has been jamming with Salgado since 2003, and joined his band full-time in 2015. Together, the two blues fans and friends took time out of their busy touring schedule to record Rough Cut, a stripped-down album featuring a potent mix of newly written, timeless originals and carefully chosen blues covers. “We did it for the love of the music,” says Salgado. “This is where our hearts are. These are deep songs that we love to play.” That love comes through loud and clear on Rough Cut. Produced by Salgado and Hager, the 13 songs on the album (including six originals) range from plaintive to playful. Recorded in one live unrehearsed take, the original I Will Not Surrender, with its haunting and sparse soundscape, showcases some of Hager’s strongest guitar work, and some of the most profoundly emotive vocals Salgado has ever laid down. The canine-lover’s anthem, I Want My Dog To Live Longer (The Greatest Wish), is already a huge fan favorite. Salgado’s soulful singing and Hager’s elegant slide guitar playing shine on Elmore James’ You Got To Move and Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied. “He’s the best player in the business, unlike anybody else,” Salgado says of Hager. “One reason I made this record was to show him off.” Born in Portland, Oregon, Alan Hager has taken a long and fascinating journey to his current spot as lead guitarist in Salgado’s band. He first picked up a guitar at age ten and became a blues and jazz prodigy. He was playing local clubs as a teenager before heading to Boston’s Berklee School Of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny. A year later he was studying classical music at the famed New England Conservatory of Music, where he graduated in 1979. During the 1980s he toured as part of a classical guitar duo and took up teaching, which he still does. But he never fell out of love with the blues, especially the old Delta sounds of Charlie Patton, Tommy Johnson and Skip James. He moved back to Portland in 1988 and soon met fellow blues aficionado Curtis Salgado. They have been making music together since 2003, with Curtis’ voice and harmonica and Alan’s hypnotic guitar work perfectly complementing each other. Born in Everett, Washington, Curtis Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon. By his early 20s, he was already making a name for himself on Eugene’s bar scene with his band The Nighthawks, and later as co-leader of The Robert Cray Band. Salgado quickly developed into a player and singer of remarkable depth, with vocal and musical influences including Otis Redding, O.V. Wright, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf and Magic Sam. NPR calls him “a blues icon” with a “huge voice.” In 1977, Salgado met actor John Belushi while the comedian was filming Animal House. Salgado and Belushi spent hours playing old records, with Belushi soaking up the music like a sponge. He used his new blues knowledge to create the The Blues Brothers. Once Salgado joined forces with The Robert Cray Band, he shared stages with many of his heroes, including Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland, Albert Collins and Bonnie Raitt. He fronted Roomful Of Blues, singing and touring with them from 1984 through 1986. Forming his own band, he released the first of his ten solo albums in 1991. Salgado joined Alligator Records in 2012, debuting with the award-winning, critically acclaimed Soul Shot in 2012 followed by The Beautiful Lowdown in 2016. Salgado won three 2013 Blues Music Awards including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year. He also won for Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year, and for Soul Blues Al...
“Infectious, captivating, powerful blues….Intense Chicago-style harp playing, witty songs and tough-as-nails grooves” –Living Blues Wildly fun, musically fearless and bursting with bravado, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have created one of the blues’ most instantly recognizable sounds and no-holds-barred styles. Featuring the world-class talents of harmonica master, songwriter and vocalist Rick Estrin, guitar wunderkind Chris “Kid” Andersen, keyboard wizard Lorenzo Farrell and dynamic drummer Alex Pettersen, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats serve up sharp and incisive original blues and gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. With his wily and unforgettable original songs and his hipster, street-smart vocals, no one on the blues scene writes or sings like Rick Estrin. No one looks like him either, as Estrin is always dressed to the nines, sporting his trademark pencil-line mustache and pompadour hair. DownBeat says, “Rick Estrin sings and writes songs like the brightest wiseguy in all of bluesland and blows harmonica as if he learned at the knee of Little Walter.” Live, the band is simply unbeatable. They deliver a high-energy show capable of bringing any audience to its feet. According to Living Blues magazine, they play “captivating, powerful blues and roots rock with a wickedly cool and otherworldly twist on tradition. Intelligently conceived and executed… hugely entertaining." Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ fourth Alligator album, Groovin’ In Greaseland, features 13 original songs, 11 by Estrin (including one co-write with Andersen), and one each by Andersen and Farrell. From the true life wisdom of The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere to the rambunctious Hot In Here to the humorous Dissed Again to the hard luck Living Hand To Mouth, the album delivers one winning performance after another. The songs spring to life as richly detailed characters spill their secrets and share their stories while the band dazzles. One listen makes it clear that this is one of the tightest and most original groups in any genre, constantly inspiring each other to new heights. Groovin’ In Greaseland was produced by Andersen and Estrin and recorded at Andersen’s soon-to-be legendary Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California. For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted Little Charlie & The Nightcats, flawlessly combining his songs, vocals and harmonica with Little Charlie Baty’s one-of-a-kind guitar excursions. The band won international acclaim and toured the world repeatedly. They were nominated four times for the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. With Charlie’s retirement from touring in 2008, Rick took over leadership of the band. He knew the only way to replace Baty’s mind-melting mashup of blues, jazz and roots rock was to find someone with an equally insane and daredevil guitar approach. Rick knew that would be a tall order to fill. As luck would have it, Kid Andersen, who had been working with another harp legend, Charlie Musselwhite, became available. “Kid’s a fearless nut on the guitar,” says Estrin. “He’s really the only guy who could fit in with us.” With an unpredictable, uninhibited style that perfectly meshed with Estrin’s wildly imaginative songs, the new band charged out of the gate. Besides Estrin’s songwriting and musical skills, he and the band are among the most colorful showmen around. Estrin’s quick wit and signature look and Andersen’s spontaneous guitar acrobatics add spur-of-the-moment frenzy to their live performances. “People don’t go out to see people who look like themselves,” says Estrin. “They want to see something special. I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that’s what you get when you come to see us perform.”