Various Artists: Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Don't Call No Ambulance by Selwyn Birchwood
Various Artists: Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator/Southbound)

The Alligator collections are always worth hearing because they serve two purposes; a catch-up with the Chicago label's recent signings and some terrific tracks from the label's enormous and credible back-catalogue.

Billed as "genuine houserockin' music" (one of their greatest acts was their first signing, Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers), Alligator music cuts straight to the bar, turns up the volume and lets fly.

The label is or has been home to some great names: Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Luther Allison, Albert Collins, Guitar Shorty, JJ Grey and Mofro, Shemekia Copeland (daugher of Johnny), Elvin Bishop, Marcia Ball, Joe Louis Walker and many more. All of them are represented here by a track among the 37 across this double disc.

Here too are James Cotton with Joe Bonamassa, Delbert McClinton, Johnny Winter, AC Reed with Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, the Kentucky Headhunters with Johnnie Johnson, Tommy Castro and the Painkiller . . .

And it closes with the Holmes Brothers' doing Amazing Grace.

This is timeless Chicago blues and even if a number of those names should be preceded by "the late" (or "the great") the music lives on as raw, well recorded and often visceral blues.

If you only buy one blues compilation this month or even year . . .

We have an archival interview with Alligator's founder Bruce Iglauer here

Go here for their 40th Anniversary Collection

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

On a per head of population basis, Bruce Iglauer – the founder of Alligator Records – has been the man who has let you hear the real minority stuff. As he said when we spoke in... > Read more

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers: Killin' It Live (Alligator/Southbound)

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers: Killin' It Live (Alligator/Southbound)

Long-serving blues singer/guitarist Tommy Castro has been a winner of the BB King Entertainer of the Year (among many accolades) and this one recorded crisply in various venues in California, New... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SIR HOWARD MORRISON; ONCE IN A LIFETIME (Rajon DVD): The bright lights and bad nights

SIR HOWARD MORRISON; ONCE IN A LIFETIME (Rajon DVD): The bright lights and bad nights

In my blog at Public Address I noted the sad coincidence: I started watching this three-part interview with Sir Howard Morrison on Tuesday. On Thursday night I heard that he had died. I also... > Read more

GUEST ARTISTS ROSS MURRAY and GREG STRAIGHT explore the golden summer mood

GUEST ARTISTS ROSS MURRAY and GREG STRAIGHT explore the golden summer mood

Elsewhere writes: Late last year artist Ross Murray contacted Elsewhere . . . something to do with the Rolling Stones' Blue and Lonesome album perhaps? But in passing he mentioned a comic... > Read more