Double CD release celebrating the 40th anniversary of the world’s premier blues label. 38 songs - over 157 minutes of music. Complete 32 page booklet contains biographical information and photos of all artists featured on the compilation.
Alligator Records 30th Anniversary Collection has 31 songs (over 145 minutes of music), and offers a distinct alternative to our previous anniversary collections with one disc of studio material and one disc of live performances. Disc 2 features the only known video of Alligators first artist, Hound Dog Taylor, performing at the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues Festival.
The title track of Marcia Ball’s new album, The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, is an irresistible tale of true love at the travelling carnival. It’s a story that nobody but Ball could spin, filled with vivid details, universal truths, and a rambunctious sense of fun and desire. With raucous horns punctuating Ball’s legendary piano pounding and emotional, melodic vocals, the song kicks off the CD of eleven originals and one glorious cover (Hank Ballard’s He’s The One). The release mixes Ball’s Gulf Coast blues, New Orleans R&B, swampy Louisiana ballads, and jumping, Tex-Mex flavored zydeco into a one-of-a-kind musical gumbo, a sound she has been perfecting over the course of her legendary career…
A continuation of the sound established on his Alligator debut, I Smell Smoke is even more impressive than its much-heralded predecessor. While vocally Michael Burks still invites comparison to Albert King, especially on gospel-fried ballads like "Lie to Me" (the Flying V guitar he sports on this album's cover shot further reinforces the similarities between the two artists), his guitar work has become more electrified and confident. With a tone sounding at times like Eric Clapton's psychedelic work in Cream and a rugged four-piece band supporting him, this is a tough, uncompromising contemporary blues/blues-rock/R&B album that doesn't pull punches. Co-produced and mixed by veteran Jim Gaines, the sound is professional but not polished, with Burks' strong persona commanding attention. However, the songs – which are far above average – are as important as the performance. Mostly written by outside sources, Burks avoids the crowd-pleasing covers that populate his live shows, instead digging into obscure tunes such as Latimore's "Let the Doorknob Hit You," delivering them with his gutsy punch.
In the mid-1980s, The Heartfixers were Atlanta's top blues band and one of the most popular bands in the Southeast. Led by guitarist/vocalist Tinsley Ellis, they packed local and regional clubs and cut two albums for the Landslide label. It was their second album, Cool On It, that brought Tinsley to the attention of Alligator Records and led to his signing in 1988. Since the original release of this recording in 1986, Tinsley Ellis has gone on to become recognized as one of the finest contemporary blues/rock guitarists of his generation. He has recorded two acclaimed solo albums for Alligator and, as of this writing, is preparing his third album. Landslide Records is no longer active, and we at Alligator wanted to make the music of The Heartfixers available again, so more people could discover Tinsley Ellis and this terrific band.