Dear Friends,

Oh, hoK I hate to get up in the morning! I’ve been in the studio every night until between 3 and 4 a.m. for almost a month. First., I was finishing the remixes on our new A.C. Reed album, I’M IN THE WRONG BUSINESS, which should be out on the street by the time you read this. What a job! A.C. did terrific work on the songwriting, arranging and initial production, not to mention recruiting some great guests like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bonnie Raitt. But he was operating with very little money, and had to use some low-budget studios. I had to go through contortions to get the sound quality up to “Alligator standard” (sounds a little pretentious, doesn’t it?). The results are well worth the trouble–a solid, rocking, and fun blues album with some really good writing and that inimitable A.C. personality that, a lot of you already know from his “Take These Blues And Shove ’Em!” album on Rooster.

Literally the day I finished A.C.’s remixes, I started recording the debut al bum by The Kinsey Report.. You know from their cut on THE NEW BLUE BLOODS albums that this is one of the most energetic and progressive young blues hands in Chicago (ok, they’re from Gary, but let’s not get. picky). Well , they’ve just, cut 10 songs for their Alligator debut,seven of them originals. It’s going to be one fiery album, with plenty of 1990’s blues. Donald is really a great singer and player, and the entire band (Ralph and Kenneth Kinsey and Ron Prince) are SO tight. Of course, considering how long they’ve played together, essentially all their lives, I guess it isn’t too surprising. The album’s called EDGE OF THE CITY and it will be out next, month in a rush t.o make the Christmas season. I think this is going to be one of THE important blues releases of the year, and a major debut. Don’t miss it.

I was telling you last time about the first three volumes of one of our most important projects–the LIVING CHICAGO BLUES series. This whole series wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Sonet Records, our European licensee (they release virtually all of our albums over there), who dug into their pockets and gave me the money and freedom to choose all the talent and produce them my way. Thanks, Dag and Rod. So I put together a list, of the best unrecorded or under-recorded blues artists in town, planning three volumes with three artists on each, nine in all, like Vanguard’s groundbreaking CHICAGO/THE BLUES/TODAY! series back in the 60 ’ s. After my list got. over 25 artists, I knew I had a problem! So T began with some of of the ones I considered absolutely essential — Jimmy Johnson, who was just, beginning to make waves on the blues scene after years of playing commercial soul stuff; Eddie Shaw, the spark plug of the Howling Wolf Rand and a great, writer/singer/sax man; Left Hand Frank, with the hands of steel; and Lonnie Brooks, the bayou bluesman, who cut such a terrific session that he ended up signed to the label! We cut most of the material at. Mantra Studios on Michigan Avenue and finished the series at Curt om Studios. What a project! It. took a year to cut and mix the nine sessions (the last, couple months waiting for Magic Slim to recover from some gunshot wounds)! More blood and mayhem next time….

Bruce Iglauer