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

Eddie Turner: Miracles and Demons (Northern Blues/Southbound)

Eddie Turner: Miracles and Demons (Northern Blues/Southbound)

As mentioned previously on the occasion of The Turner Diaries, this singer-guitarist won't be to every blues fan's taste -- and not just because he gets the Hendrix tag a bit (true, but only... > Read more

Hugh Laurie: Didn't It Rain (Warners)

Hugh Laurie: Didn't It Rain (Warners)

Musicians can get very territorial when actors are perceived to be moving into their turf. People like Juliette Lewis, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron have hardly been welcomed (sometimes with... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PRIVILEGE, a film by PETER WATKINS, 1967 (Universal DVD)

PRIVILEGE, a film by PETER WATKINS, 1967 (Universal DVD)

Set in a dystopian future where the British government and state authorities (as well as organised religion) exercise complete and often subtle social control over citizens, this remarkable film by... > Read more

CHARLIE PARKER: If only . . .

CHARLIE PARKER: If only . . .

The night I heard Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter had separated I went on a half serious, half parody, totally drunken Rod bender. I played all his Famously Scottish Songs (me‘n’Rod... > Read more