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Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

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Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

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Koko Taylor – “I’m A Woman”
Albert Collins – “I Ain’t Drunk”
Michael Burks – “Strange Feeling”
Tommy Castro Band – “Backup Plan”
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials – “Icicles In My Meatloaf”
Guitar Shorty – “We The People”
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – “U B U”
Marcia Ball – “The Party’s Still Going On”
Roomful of Blues – “That’s A Pretty Good Love”
Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King – “Have Blues, Will Travel”
Son Seals – “Going Home (Where Women Got Meat On Their Bones)”
Buddy Guy & Junior Wells – “Give Me My Coat And Shoes”
Janiva Magness – “Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love”
Johnny Winter – “Mojo Boogie”
Coco Montoya – “Last Dirty Deal”
Corey Harris – “Fish Ain’t Bitin’”
Luther Allison – “All The King’s Horses”
Anders Osborne – “Echoes Of My Sins”
Lonnie Mack with Stevie Ray Vaughan – “Double Whammy”
Albert Collins, Robert Cray & Johnny Copeland – “T-Bone Shuffle”
Lonnie Brooks – “Don’t Take Advantage Of Me”
Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater – “A Good Leavin’ Alone”
Hound Dog Taylor – “Sitting At Home Alone”
Elvin Bishop & Little Smokey Smothers – “Roll Your Moneymaker”
James Cotton – “With The Quickness”
Shemekia Copeland – “It’s My Own Tears”
Professor Longhair – “Red Beans”
Charlie Musselwhite – “Where Hwy 61 Runs”
Roy Buchanan with Delbert McClinton – “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”
Mavis Staples – “Step Into The Light”
Tinsley Ellis – “Speak No Evil”
Eric Lindell – “It’s A Drag”
Saffire—The Uppity Blues Women – “Going Down To The River”
The Holmes Brothers – “Feed My Soul”
Katie Webster – “Two-Fisted Mama”
William Clarke – “Daddy Pinocchio”
Buckwheat Zydeco – “When The Levee Breaks”
JJ Grey & Mofro – “The Sun Is Shining Down”

Performer Notes:

  • Audio Mixers: Drew Vonderhaar; Ryan Lipman; Dan Prothero; David Axelbaum; David Farrell ; Freddy Breitberg; Gene Lawson; Ricky Barnes; Glenn Nishida; Roman Klun; Scott Brenton; Jay Newland; Jay Shilliday; Jeff Covert; Jim DeVito; Jim Tullio; John Hampton; Mike Iacopelli; Justin Niebank; Sam Siefiert; Jim Haines; Jerry Hoyson; Tony Terrebone; Kid Andersen; Larry Goetz; Mark Bingham; Neil Citron; Richard Mullen ; Richard Whittington; Ari Rios; Sam Fishkin; Shelly Yakus; Sterling Winfield; Stevie Mendell; Stu Black; Stuart Sullivan; Warren Riker; Ben Mumphrey; Roger Cole ; Blaise Barton; Bob Skye; Bonnie Hayes.
  • Liner Note Author: Bruce Iglauer.
  • Photographers: Dragan Tasic; Diane Allmen; Peter Amft; Tom Stio; Steve Kagan; Jef Jaisun; Clayton Call; Randi Anglin; Kent Lacin; Jeff Dunas; Stuart Brinin; Dan Monick; Mary Bruton; Paul Natkin; Ken Settle; Jerry Moran; James Bland; Stefan Falke; Frank Vigil; Michel Verlinden; Teresa Nelson; Flounoy Holmes; David Lucinker; Darren Jackinsky; Rebecca Sell.
  • Starting with its 20th anniversary in 1991, every five years brings another double Alligator collection, and 2011 was no exception. While the 35th edition —released in 2006 — logically featured 35 songs, the compilers couldn’t quite squeeze 40 onto this 40th anniversary disc, even though owner Bruce Iglauer does admit to fading a few endings off prematurely in order to maximize the list, which hits 38 selections. The trick with these albums is to both pay tribute to the label’s storied past while including enough recent acts to connect the dots between the house-rocking music Iglauer built his company on, and the more modern yet still roots-based sounds he’s released during the last five years. He does an excellent job here, mixing not just old and new, but male and female musicians who have recorded for Alligator over the decades. Of course, no Alligator historical collection is going to exclude Hound Dog Taylor, Iglauer’s first signing who remains the raucous, soulful blues-rocking standard who helped forge the label’s musical direction. Newer artists such as JJ Grey & Mofro, Eric Lindell, Anders Osborne, and Janiva Magness share space with Johnny Winter, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, and lots more. A 30-page book includes obscure information and anecdotes about each, providing a first-hand look at what attracted Iglauer to the artists. Even with 35 acts, dozens are left out, and they are listed individually at the end of the extensive and often fascinating notes. There are some predominantly acoustic performances from Mavis Staples, Saffire — The Uppity Blues Women, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, and Corey Harris, but the majority of the selections run to the high-energy, very plugged-in Chicago and Texas blues that Iglauer plainly loves. Between musicians such as Luther Allison, Roy Buchanan, Son Seals, and Koko Taylor, all of whom have created arguably their finest work while signed to Alligator (and that’s saying plenty), there is an embarrassment of riches to choose from. While some of these names have also appeared on previous anniversary editions, no songs are repeated from those albums. Clearly, the intention of this and the previous sets is as loss leaders to sell more individual Alligator discs, but they play as perfectly enjoyable mash-ups of roots music, and a historical music lesson that anyone with an affinity for the genre will appreciate. ~ Hal Horowitz

Professional Reviews: Rolling Stone (p.70) – 4 stars out of 5 — “[T]he icons and belters on this two-CD party include guitar lords like Albert Collins, Son Seals and Luther Allison; vocal volcanoes Koko Taylor and the Holmes Brothers; and the modern-Delta stylist Corey Harris.”

Living Blues (p.66) – “Perhaps one of the Alligator’s greatest triumphs, and undoubtedly one of its paramount voices, was the late Koko Taylor. The Queen of the Blues recorded with the label for 35 years…”

Billboard (p.40) – “[A] sampler that touches on great moments and key acts….Sure to send listeners deeper into the individual artists’ catalogs.”

Record Collector (magazine) (p.103) – 5 stars out of 5 — “[With] healthy doses of blues-infused rockabilly, front porch soul, gospel, rock, ballads, New Orleans R&B, country and zydeco.”

Producer: Chris Vachon, Eric Lindell, Chris Goldsmith, Corey Harris, Dan Prothero, Dave Darling, Andy Kaslow, Derek O’Brien, Dick Shurman, Didier Tricard, Elvin Bishop, Wesley Race, Allison Kaslow, Ice Cube Slim, James Cotton, Janiva Magness, Jim Gaines, Jim Tullio, Jimmy Vivino, John Hahn, Katie Webster, Kid Andersen, Lonnie Brooks, Lonnie Mack, Mavis Staples, Anders Osborne, Paul Barrere, Pepper Keenan, Richard McLeese, Rick Estrin, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Roy Buchanan, Saffire The Uppity Blues Women, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Son Seals, Stanton Moore, Steve Berlin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tinsley Ellis, Vasti Jackson, Joan Osborne, Jackie Hairston, Wyzard, Brian Brinkerhoff, Bruce Iglauer

Format: CD (2 Disc); Stereo

Country: USA

Studio/Live: Studio

Release Date: 22 February, 2011


Dimensions: 14.4 × 12.8 × 2.3 centimeters (0.19 kg)

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