News

Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager's ROUGH CUT Set For Jan. 12 Release

[11/09/2017]
Alligator Records has set a January 12 release date for Rough Cut, the first collaborative album from award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist Curtis Salgado and renowned guitarist Alan Hager. 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 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.”

Produced by Salgado and Hager, the 13 songs on Rough Cut(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.”

Salgado and Hager have performed at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival, The Tampa Bay Blues Festival and Canada’s Festival Tremblant Blues Festival and on the Legendary Blues Cruise. Salgado has also performed at The San Francisco Blues Festival, Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival, Denver’s Mile High Blues Festival, as well as in Canada, England, throughout Europe, Brazil, Chile, Panama, The Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong. Blues Revue, describing Salgado’s performances, declares, “He starts at excellent before segueing into goose bumps, ecstasy, and finally nirvana.”

Salgado released the first of his 10 solo albums in 1991. He joined Alligator Records in 2012, debuting with the award-winning, critically acclaimed Soul Shot  followed by The Beautiful Lowdown in 2016. The albums earned Salgado multiple Blues Music Awards for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year, Soul Blues Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year. NPR calls him “a blues icon” with a “huge voice."

Along with his accolades, Salgado is no stranger to adversity. During his career, he has overcome multiple health challenges, battling back from liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008 and 2012. In March 2017 he underwent quadruple bypass surgery. Now he is back on the road, revved up and firing on all cylinders, performing with his band as well as a duo with Hager. His resilience can be heard – and felt – on I Will Not Surrender, Rough Cut’s lead track.

With Curtis’ inspired singing and world-class harmonica playing and Alan’s spellbinding guitar, Rough Cut is the album Salgado and Hager have always wanted to make together – soulful, sparse and haunting. The music is a moving exploration of the joyful, emotionally uplifting power of passionately played and soulfully sung acoustic blues. They’ll perform together as a duo both on their own and during Curtis’ full band shows, giving their fans a taste of what Alan calls “American Classical music.” “This type of music moves us the most,” says Salgado. “You believe it when you hear it.”