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Ghost Canyon

'Pride And Joy: The Story Of Alligator Records'
(Bruce Iglauer, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Elvin Bishop, Katie Webster, et al / Blu ray / NR / (1992) 2016 / MVD Visual)

Overview: In 1971, Bruce Iglauer founded Alligator Records, an independent record company which, in the decades since, has proven to be the most successful modern blues label. In early 1992, Iglauer staged the Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Tour starring Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine, Elvin Bishop, Katie Webster, the Lonnie Brooks Blues Band (featuring Lonnie's son Ronnie Baker Brooks), and Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials.

Blu-ray Verdict: Director Robert Mugge, having recently made the film 'Deep Blues' (1991) about the blues traditions of Mississippi, decided to follow up with a tribute to Alligator and its roster of top contemporary blues artists from Chicago and elsewhere. The resulting film, 'Pride And Joy: The Story Of Alligator Records', presents musical highlights from one of the 4-plus-hour concerts (March 12th at Philadelphia's Chestnut Cabaret) that made up the tour, glimpses of Alligator's Chicago offices, and profiles of key performers and staff members.

The pride and joy on display are not only that of fine musical artists plying their trades, but also that of a passionate and highly principled entrepreneur succeeding in a business mostly controlled by corporate giants and littered with the wreckage of countless small, independent labels. Songs in the film include 'Pride and Joy' and 'Ed's Boogie' (Lil' Ed), 'Pussycat Moan' and 'Lord, I Wonder' (Katie Webster), 'El-Bo' and 'Beer Drinking Woman' (Elvin Bishop), 'I'd Rather Go Blind' (Koko Taylor), 'Wife For Tonight' and 'I Want All My Money Back' (Lonnie Brooks), 'It's A Dirty Job' (Koko Taylor with Lonnie Brooks), and 'Sweet Home Chicago' (final joint encore).

A companion soundtrack-and-tour CD set is also available from Alligator Records, but transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored, this crystal clear Blu-ray version of 'Pride And Joy: The Story Of Alligator Records' is the place to visually be, that's for sure. This is a new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of Bonus Audio of 10 Additional Performances from The Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Tour.