Alligator Records: 40th Anniversary Collection - Rolling Stone
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Alligator Records: 40th Anniversary Collection

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Still thriving, still independent, this Chicago label still serves only Genuine Houserockin' Music, as it said in ads for guitarist Hound Dog Taylor's 1971 debut, Alligator's first release. Founder Bruce Iglauer has always gone deep and wide within that definition. So the icons and belters on this two-CD party include guitar lords like Albert Collins, Son Seals and Luther Allison; vocal volcanoes Koko Taylor and the Holmes Brothers; and the modern-Delta stylist Corey Harris. A track from Professor Longhair's last date is here, as is the guitar dream team of Lonnie Mack and Stevie Ray Vaughan — proof of a catalog worth further jubilant study.

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