Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection

Continuing a tradition he established 25 years ago, Alligator Records boss Bruce Iglauer has again assembled an outstanding collection of his label’s music. Chosen from nearly 300 albums he’s recorded since 1971, this 45th Anniversary Collection is a two-CD package featuring 37 artists whose releases on the label reflect, as Iglauer writes in the liner notes, his focus on the catalog’s “extraordinary past, history-in-the-making present and a future filled with more ‘Genuine Houserocking Music.’” That’s the label’s motto, which gives props to his first record by Hound Dog Taylor’s trio, which is featured here in all its ragged splendor on “Take Five,” a storming original. Among the label’s stalwarts here are selections by Marcia Ball, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Tommy Castro, Joe Louis Walker, Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Johnny Winter and Koko Taylor. Newer releases by Jarekus Singleton, Anders Osborne, Toronzo Cannon and Moreland & Arbuckle are signs of the label’s focus on the future of the blues. This is a great way to discover an artist whose CD might entice you.