Dear Friends ,

Seems harder and harder to find time to write these. In a few minutes I’m off to the studio to remaster Maurice John Vaughn’s “Generic Blues” album, which we’ll be distributing starting mid-summer. This “home made” album has been hard to find and deserves to be heard. Now three of the New Bluebloods will have full LPs on Alligator! We’ve also just released an album by a beloved “old blood” Chicago band–“The Siegel-Schwall Reunion Concert.” For many of us, bands like The Siegel-Schwall Band (with Corky Siegel’s soaring harp and Jim Schwall’s amplified acoustic guitar) were our introduction to electric blues, anti this live recording from late last summer should be a real discovery for younger fans, and warm the cockles of some older hearts, too.

Also coming within days is the second album by Little Charlie and the Nightcats, those wild men from Sacramento. This one’s called “Disturbing The Peace.” If you liked their debut album, “All The Way Crazy,” I think you’ll like this one even better…. more swinging Little Charlie guitar plus Rick Estrin’s super harp and tongue-in-cheek songwriting. If you don’t know this band, you should!

Later in the Spring we’ll be re-releasing Kenny Neal’s debut album that came out last year on the Kingsnake label. Kenny is a terrific young bluesman from Baton Rouge (the LP is retitled “Big News From Baton Rouge”) who just tears up the bandstand. He’s a double threat on guitar and harp. We’re remixing the LP and adding three new cuts. Get ready for another young blues giant! Finally, keep your ears open for The Paladins, a three-piece roots band-from San Diego who mix blues, rock and rockabilly with plenty of sweaty energy and some great songwriting. These guys work over 200 nights a year all over the country, and the album really captures their energy. It’s called “Years Since Yesterday” and will be out in a few weeks.

I was telling you last time about the 1978 Norwegian train wreck the Son Seals Band and I were in. Well, after the band had single-handedly evacuated the train car, I was left stuck alone inside, knee-deep in water with a sliding door resting on my shoulder and the local fire department just beginning to arrive after almost an hour. I couldn’t get out of the train, because if I moved at all the door would slide down and trap me, and I wasn’t at all sure that the car wasn’t going to submerge at any moment! Then my brand-new aluminum briefcase came floating up inside the car and hit me right on the leg, as if to say “use me to brace the door open.” So I wedged it in the door frame, and climbed out into the fjord. My boots filled with water but Son helped me to the shore. The firemen were throwing down ropes from the tracks, so we struggled up and reunited with the members of the band who weren’t in having chest pains, and of course Tony Gooden was in almost-severed arm). They took us to a funky little the night. The next morning I spent $60 on a cab to could have ridden the train, but I wasn’t in the mood!)

More next time,

Bruce Iglauer