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Label Watch: Cannonball Records

Ron Levy

After a lengthy and productive relationship as house producer with Rounder’s Bullseye Blues and Black Top imprints, veteran bluesman Ron Levy relocated to Minneapolis and joined forces with Scott Haidle, president of the Paulstarr record distribution network, to launch Cannonball Records. They got the ball rolling in June of 1997 with Keepin’ The Blues Alive, the domestic debut by Bernard Allison, son of the late, great bluesman Luther Allison. They followed that up with an ambitious series, Blues Across America, which focused on under-recognized talent brewing in the blues hotbeds of Dallas, Chicago and Detroit.

To date, Cannonball has ten discs in their catalog with another ten scheduled for release this year, including Levy’s own debut for the label, Greaze Is Good, featuring guests appearances by Freddie Hubbard, Steve Turre, David T. Walker and Melvin Sparks. Other upcoming releases include organist Reuben Wilson’s Down Wid’ It, the solo debut of 77-year-old blues diva Alberta Adams, a compilation called Southern Soul featuring Bobby Rush and produced by Willie Mitchell of Al Green fame, the debut from young Dallas bluesman Hash Brown and drummer Idris Muhammed’s daring duets project, Right Now, which pairs him with saxophonists Joe Lovano, George Coleman and Gary Bartz.

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