Prairie Center for the Arts
On Saturday, October 23, the Al Larson Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg, Illinois will host the Alligator Records All-Star Blues Revue concert. Celebrating the label's 50th anniversary, the one-of-a-kind show features three of Alligator's best known, most beloved artists -- award-winning guitar sensation Nick Moss, three-time Grammy Award nominee, harmonica wizard Billy Branch, and world renowned Chicago blues guitarist Toronzo Cannon.
Find ticket information HERE.
Award-winning guitarist and vocalist Nick Moss is a towering figure in today’s blues world. He’s a guitarist who can play from subtle to searing, as well as a gifted singer and songwriter. He toured with, and was mentored by, 1950s blues titan Jimmy Rogers, and played in the bands of harpist/singer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and West Side guitar hero Jimmy Dawkins. Nick has led his own band since 1997, cutting a dozen albums that range from traditional Chicago blues to hard-rocking guitar explorations. Living Blues says, "Moss’ muscular, electric energy combines jaw-dropping guitar, gruff, soulful vocals and impassioned songwriting." Since signing with Alligator in 2018, the Nick Moss Band has gone on to win four Blues Music Awards, earning three of them in 2020, in connection with his current release Lucky Guy.
Since his 1978 debut on Alligator's Living Chicago Blues series, Billy Branch has earned a place among the world’s best blues harp players. He was mentored by Chicago’s harp royalty—James Cotton, Junior Wells and Carey Bell. They all considered him their successor as the Windy City’s next harmonica king. His all-star band, The Sons Of Blues, is among the premier blues bands anywhere. With hundreds of studio sessions and 15 albums of his own, including Alligator's Roots And Branches--The Songs Of Little Walter, Billy Branch is one of the most-recorded blues artists in the world. Living Blues says, "Billy Branch has cemented his place among the kings. Greasy, funky, howlin’ harp attack that really burns...wonderful, bold and surprising."
With the release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way in 2016, Toronzo Cannon burst onto the international stage as one of the most electrifying bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades. The Chicago Reader said, “Bluesman Toronzo Cannon is one of Chicago’s finest string-bending storytellers.” He has played major cities all over the world, delighting and surprising audiences with one unforgettable gig after another. UK tastemaker music magazine MOJO named his latest album, 2019’s The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp, the #2 Best Blues Album Of 2019. Blues Music Magazine says, “Cannon has all the fire and spontaneity of the Chicago legends. His songwriting is a timely and original look at the world, and his assertive voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the message.”
In 1971, 23-year-old blues fan Bruce Iglauer spent his savings to record and release a record by his favorite Chicago blues band, Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers. He created Alligator Records to release that one LP. Today, Alligator boasts a catalog of over 350 titles, many of which are renowned, award-winning, time-tested classics of the genre. Career-defining albums from legendary artists like Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Professor Longhair, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison and Michael “Iron Man” Burks share the catalog with releases from current blues and roots icons Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Guitar Shorty, Billy Boy Arnold and Mavis Staples. Records from today’s world-renowned stars like Shemekia Copeland, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Billy Branch, Tinsley Ellis, Joe Louis Walker, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Curtis Salgado, Roomful Of Blues and The Cash Box Kings, as well as albums from trailblazing newer voices including Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Nick Moss, Toronzo Cannon and Selwyn Birchwood, clearly showcase Alligator’s wide-ranging, forward-looking vision. Alligator, like the blues itself, continues to break new ground while staying true to its Genuine Houserockin’ roots. On June 18, 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared "Alligator Records Day" throughout the city via official proclamation. This is the same day Alligator Records--50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin' Music (a 2-LP or 3-CD set) was released. On September 18, 2021, the Mayor declared "Bruce Iglauer Day" across the city in honor of Alligator's founder and president.