Budget sampler includes Elvin Bishop, Katie Webster, The Paladins, A.C. Reed, Roy Buchanan, Lonnie Brooks, Kenny Neal, Little Charlie, Maurice John Vaughn, Tinsley Ellis, Siegel-Schwall Band, Rufus Thomas and more.
Produced by: Elvin Bishop; Bruce Iglauer and Ice Cube Slim; Steve Berlin and Mark Linett; A C Reed; Roy Buchanan; Dick Shurman and Bruce Iglauer; Bruce Iglauer; Bob Greenlee; Bruce Iglauer; Donald Kin...
Produced by: Elvin Bishop; Bruce Iglauer and Ice Cube Slim; Steve Berlin and Mark Linett; A C Reed; Roy Buchanan; Dick Shurman and Bruce Iglauer; Bruce Iglauer; Bob Greenlee; Bruce Iglauer; Donald Kinsey and Bruce Iglauer; Maurice John Vaughn; Ricky Keller; The Siegel-Schwall Band; Bob Greenlee; Bob Greenlee; Bob Greenlee
Recorded at Starlite Sound, Richmond, CA; Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL; Sunnyside Recording, Los Angeles, CA; Jasper Sound Studio, Austin, TX; Ranch O. Studio, Tulsa, OK; King Snake Studios, Sanford, FL; Studio D, Sausalito, CA; Soto Sound, Evanston, IL; Soundscape Studios, Atlanta, GA; and live at B.L.U.E.S., Etc. and the Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL.
Engineered by Bill Thompson, Justin Niebank, Jay Shilliday, Bill Dashiell, Gordon Garrison, Timothy Powell, Steve Frisk, Brian Bassett, Jerry Soto, Mark Harder and Pete Carr
Cover design by Bob McCamant
Liner photos by Peter Amft, Pat Johnson, Kent Lacin and Larry Kodani. Additional design by Rachel Stoler
Elvin Bishop has been melding blues, rock and country with his own inimitable sense of humor for over twenty years. As a founding member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Elvin was one of the first true guitar heroes during the blues revival of the late 1960s. Moving to the West Coast, he and his good-time band became a fixture at the Fillmore West and cut a series of albums that produced hits like Struttin' My Stuff, Juke Joint Jump and the million-selling Fooled Around And Fell In Love. His new album for Alligator, Big Fun (AL 4767), his first record in almost a decade, brings Elvin back home to the blues.
Katie Webster is one of America's great musical treasures. She began as a teenage studio piano player, appearing on literally hundreds of South Louisiana blues, rock and swamp-pop records. She cut her soul chops on the road for two years with Otis Redding. Since moving to Oakland in the late 1970s, she's toured Europe 23 times and played at most of the major U.S. blues festivals. Besides playing great two-fisted piano, Katie is a terrific soul singer whom Bonnie Raitt describes as "the voice of the century." Katie's debut Alligator album, The Swamp Boogie Queen (AL 4766), features guest appearances by Bonnie, and, on Who's Making Love? by two of her fans, Robert Cray on guitar and Kim Wilson on backing vocals.
The Paladins blew out of San Diego a couple years ago playing a sweaty mixture of blues, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. The three-piece band, with Dave Gonzales on guitar and vocals, ThomasYearsley on standup bass and vocals and Scott Campbell on drums, is truly road- tested. They play over 200 shows a year all over the U.S., and drive over 75,000 miles! They've performed with Los Lobos and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and, as Los Lobos' Cesar Rosas puts it, "They kick ass!" Their Alligator debut, Years Since Yesterday, (AL 4762), features five original tunes and production by Mark Linett and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin.
A.C. Reed is one of Chicago blues' top sax players, vocalists and songwriters. His career spans more than thirty years and he's been a crucial member of both the Buddy Guy/Junior Wells band and Albert Collins' Icebreakers (he appears on five of Albert's Alligator albums). A.C. has been leading his own band for four years now singing his sly original songs and winning fans all over the country. Two of those fans, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan, make guest appearances on A.C.'s first Alligator album, I'm In The Wrong Business! (AL 4757). That's Bonnie playing slide and singing backgrounds on She's Fine. A.C. is also featured on Alligator's Living Chicago Blues Vol. 4 (AL 7704).
Roy Buchanan brought his ground-breaking fiery guitar to Alligator in 1985 and cut three albums before his tragic death in 1988. Two were Grammy nominated and Roy considered his Alligator records to be the finest of his career. Roy began playing blues and rock back in the 1950s. He taught Robbie Robertson and Nils Lofgren and inspired a whole generation of pyrotechnic players with his wild bends, beautifully controlled harmonics and intense but melodic style. High Wire is from his last Alligator album, Hot Wires (AL 4756). His other records are When A Guitar Plays The Blues (AL 4741) and Dancing On The Edge (AL 4747).
Lonnie Brooks is one of the busiest touring bluesmen in the world. In the last year he's played all over the U.S. and has made two tours of Europe. Lonnie's music brings together the energy of Chicago blues with the swamp rhythms of his native Louisiana and his gigantic, soulful voice. Backed by his super-tight road band, Lonnie cut his first live album in late 1987, Live From Chicago -Bayou Lightning Strikes (AL 4759). The album captures Lonnie at his sweaty, funky best. His previous albums include Bayou Lightning (AL 4714), Turn On The Night (AL 4721), Hot Shot (AL 4731) and Wound Up Tight (AL 4751). Lonnie also appears on Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 4 (AL 7704) and Blues Deluxe (XRT 9301), recorded live at Chicago Fest.
Kenny Neal is one of the most exciting young bluesmen to emerge from the Deep South in years. A triple threat on guitar, harmonica and bass, Kenny was tutored by the masters of Baton Rouge blues--Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester and his own father, legendary Louisiana bluesman Raful Neal. Kenny toured for four years with Buddy Guy before starting his own band, and since then he's appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and headlined the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. His Alligator debut is appropriately called Big News From Baton Rouge!! (AL 4764).
Little Charlie and the Nightcats burst out of Sacramento and on to the national scene last year with the release of their first Alligator album, All The Way Crazy (AL 4753). Since then they 've toured this country three times and Europe twice. Combining the crazed, unpredictable swing guitar of Little Charlie Baty and the funky harmonica, vocals and songwriting of Rick Estrin with a terrific rhythm section, Little Charlie and the Nightcats delivered a second dose of off-the-wall blues with Disturbing The Peace (AL 4761). I Ain't Lyin' is another of Rick Estrin's tongue-in-cheek slices of street life.
The Kinsey Report drew rave reviews for their appearance on The New Bluebloods - The Next Generation Of Chicago Blues (AL 7707). Three brothers and a best friend created music on the cutting edge of blues and they were quickly signed to Alligator for their first album, Edge Of The City (AL 4758). Critics hailed it as the finest blues debut album of 1987, and the band is preparing its follow-up album for early 1989 release. The team of Donald Kinsey and Ron Prince on guitars, Kenneth Kinsey on bass and Ralph Kinsey on drums, write and arrange almost all original material including the gritty Poor Man's Relief.
Maurice John Vaughn also appeared on The New Bluebloods with his low-key, introspective vocals and inventive guitar. But a couple of years ago, Maurice had already produced his own complete album, the Generic Blues Album (AL 4763), which he sold off the bandstand. This year Alligator remastered and re-released the album with an additional song added. Maurice also writes and arranges almost all of his own material including Girl Don't Live Here. Living Blues called Maurice "a quietly excellent musician" and the Generic Blues Album shows why.
Tinsley Ellis is the young blues guitar hero from Atlanta who was ranked the equal of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter by England's Juke Blues Magazine. He's the former leader of The Heartfixers, the Southeast's top blues band. With Georgia Blue (AL 4765), his first solo album, Tinsley debuts half a dozen original songs and showcases his beautifully intense guitar playing and tough vocals. Tinsley Ellis is a major blues player standing on the verge of national fame.
The Siegel-Schwall Band was Chicago's best-loved blues band in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sparked by Corky Siegel's harmonica and Jim Schwall's amplified hollow-body guitar, the band created a light folk-based blues style that took Chicago blues in a melodic, semi-acoustic direction. Last year, The Siegel-Schwall Band reunited for a sold-out concert at Chicago's Vic Theatre and local station WXRT-FM taped it for broadcast. Alligator remixed and released The Siegel-Schwall Reunion Concert (AL 4760) in the spring of 1988 and the group's fans poured out to buy it. I Think It Was The Wine is one of the group's most popular songs.
Rufus Thomas, the world's funkiest grandfather, has been recording blues and R&B since 1943!! Beginning his career as a vaudeville dancer, singer and comedian, Rufus graduated to the job of being one of Memphis' first black DJs. He is the godfather of the blues in Memphis, and recorded the first hits on the city's two most famous labels, Sun Records (Bear Cat) and Stax Records (The Dog). He created a whole series of irresistible dance tunes from Walking The Dog to The Funky Chicken to The Funky Penguin. Rufus is back on the radio again and has just completed two tours of Europe. His first Alligator album, That Woman Is Poison! (AL 4769), will be released in late 1988.
Lazy Lester is one of the originators of the South Louisiana swamp-pop harmonica. From his late 1950s recordings backing Lightning Slim to his own classics on the Excello label, like the original I'm A Lover Not A Fighter and Sugar Coated Love. Lester's drawling vocals and country-tinged harmonica are unmistakable, and though he's been living in Michigan for a number of years, Lester has never lost that lazy Baton Rouge feeling. He's recently hit the road again, playing all the major U.S. blues festivals. His new album, Harp and Soul (AL 4768), was cut in Florida, featuring Kenny Neal on lead guitar.
Lucky Peterson, the Mozart of the blues, has been recording since the age of five! A child prodigy on organ and drums, Lucky appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson TV shows and What's My Line?, and his first album was produced by Willie Dixon. Young Lucky studied with jazz organist Jimmy Smith and joined Little Milton's band while still in his early teens. At 20, he joined the Bobby Blue Bland Orchestra and cut a solo album in France. In the last couple years, Lucky's performances have featured his guitar and vocals along with his incredible keyboard work. His new album, Lucky Strikes (AL 4770), is a virtuoso display of all his talents and its dramatic songwriting is on the cutting edge of contemporary blues.