Since 1977, Blind Pig Records has been a leading light for the blues in all its many forms. The label, originally formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan and named for that city’s Blind Pig Café (welcoming musical artists since 1971), has just celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a new 2-CD, 34-track compendium. Blind Pig Records: 40th Anniversary Collection boasts selections from each decade of the Blind Pig story, featuring many recognizable artists and some lesser-known lights that might just become favorites themselves.
The tale of Blind Pig Records began when Café owner Jerry Del Giudice and his friend Edward Chmelewski formed their label. The collection begins with “Gambling Blues,” a song by Magic Slim (1937-2013) and The Teardrops; the late Slim recorded ten albums for the label from 1990 through 2012. The non-chronological journey through live and studio recordings then encompasses classic songs by Otis Rush (“Crosscut Saw”), Elvin Bishop (“Stomp”), Charlie Musselwhite (“Chicago Sunset”), Pinetop Perkins (“Just Keep on Drinking”), and Commander Cody (“Last Call for Alcohol”) on its first disc.
The second disc welcomes a similarly impressive roster of blues artists including the legendary Muddy Waters (“Got My Mojo Working,” in an archival performance from 1971), Luther Allison (“Let’s Try Again”), Herbert Sumlin and James Cotton (“Sittin’ on Top of the World”), Otis Clay (“When the Gates Swing Open”), and Taj Mahal, guesting with Big Bill Morganfield (“You’re Gonna Miss Me”).
All told, thirteen Blues Hall of Fame inductees are featured here. These songs reflect a wide swath of themes from the earthy to the spiritual, whether based on or pushing the boundaries of the 12-bar blues format. You’ll hear Americana and folk, boogie-woogie, rhythm-and-blues, soul, and regional flavors from Texas to Louisiana in these tunes.
Blind Pig Records: 40th Anniversary Collection has been produced by Mike Cimicata and Shaun Sintic. Liner notes have been provided by Blues Music Magazine editor Art Tipaldi, bringing Blind Pig’s history up to date with its 2015 purchase by The Orchard. The 16-page booklet also includes credits and discography for each song. This sampler of the Blind Pig oeuvre – hip, moving, passionate, and always from the gut – is available now at the links below!
- Gambling Blues – Magic Slim & The Teardrops
- Boom Town – Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots
- No Doubt – Albert Cummings
- Hey Joe – Popa Chubby
- Everybody’s Fishin’ – Big Walter Horton
- I’m a Woman – Deborah Coleman
- Dust My Broom – James Cotton
- Crosscut Saw (Live) – Otis Rush
- Stomp (Live) – Elvin Bishop
- Charmed and Dangerous – Altered Five Blues Band
- Last Chance – Sena Ehrhardt
- Thought I Had It All – Damon Fowler
- Old Friends – Kenny Neal
- Chicago Sunset – Charlie Musselwhite
- Crossover – Eddy Clearwater
- Just Keep On Drinking – Pinetop Perkins
- Last Call for Alcohol – Commander Cody
- Got My Mojo Working (Live) – Muddy Waters
- You’re Gonna Miss Me – Big Bill Morganfield with Taj Mahal
- Human Cannonball (Live) – Webb Wilder & The Beatnecks
- It’s That Time Again – Tommy Castro
- In the Rain – Deanna Bogart
- Baby Without You – The Cash Box Kings
- Let’s Try Again – Luther Allison
- Diamond Eyes – Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King
- Raising Hell – Zac Harmon
- Blue Feelin’ – Studebaker John and The Hawks
- Frankenbop – Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers
- Chicken Shack Boogie – Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s
- Back Alley Cat – Billy Branch and The Sons of Blues
- Shut the Front Door – Andy T – Nick Nixon Band
- Southern Livin’ – Southern Hospitality
- Sitting on Top of the World – Herbert Sumlin with James Cotton
- When the Gates Swing Open – Otis Clay