In this episode of Exploring the Blues in Chicago, Brett David Stewart sits down briefly with Keith Dixon of the Blues Heaven Foundation to discuss the important role independent record labels played in the formative years of Chicago blues. Dixon’s grandfather was Willie Dixon, and the foundation is located at the old Chess Records building and studio. Furthermore, Stewart discusses the blues with Bruce Iglauer, the founder of Alligator Records in the city of Chicago. With a catalog of over 300 releases, Alligator is responsible for some of the most legendary blues recordings in history. Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Winter, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, amongst countless others, have had their music released on Alligator.

Exploring the Blues in Chicago features music from Frank Bang & the Cook County Kings and Derrick Procell. Support independent artists like them in the Chicago blues community by buying their fantastic records and going to their shows! In addition those musicians, the podcast owes great thanks to Terri Hemmert, Bruce Iglauer, Bill Dahl, Keith Dixon, Phil Rood, and Peter Fisher. Podcast art was courtesy of Rood, and his work can be found here.

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Feature photo of Lonnie Brooks courtesy of LW Images.