Alligator Records, the acclaimed independent blues and roots label currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, has announced it is joining forces with Exceleration Music. Exceleration Music is a newly established company founded by Glen Barros (former CEO of Concord Music Group) along with four other world-renowned industry veterans, dedicated to enhancing the future of independent labels and artists.
Alligator founder Bruce Iglauer‘s partnership with Exceleration will strengthen the label by creating opportunities for expanded promotion and marketing along with providing resources enabling Alligator to sign more established blues and roots artists. Iglauer remains at Alligator’s helm, just as he has been for the last 50 years. He and his Chicago-based team will continue to handle artist signings, A&R, new release production, project marketing, publicity, and promotion for an aggressive lineup of new recordings by the label’s existing roster as well as by newly-signed artists. Alligator will also continue to market and promote its catalog of over 350 releases. Exceleration will handle financial, operational, and administrative functions for the label. Both partners will also collaborate on marketing initiatives designed to build on Alligator’s great legacy.
According to Iglauer, “I’m very excited to ally Alligator with Exceleration. I have tremendous respect for the vision, intelligence, industry expertise and professional ethics of the Exceleration team. I’m confident that this partnership will grow the worldwide audience for Alligator’s records and artists. It’s a win-win for all of us.”
In addition to its partnership with Alligator, Exceleration has also entered into an alliance with The Ray Charles Foundation, by which they will jointly issue special releases from the Ray Charles vaults, most of which have not been widely available on digital music services for the past decade. In January 2020, Exceleration acquired the venerable but mostly dormant jazz label Candid Records, with plans to relaunch the label later in 2021.
Exceleration Music was formed by five of the independent music industry’s most influential executives. Started by Glen Barros (former CEO of Concord Music Group), Exceleration Music has developed into a partnership of global music industry leaders who will be investing in the future of independent labels from a wide range of culturally important genres. In addition to Barros, Exceleration is led by Dave Hansen (Executive Chairman of Merlin, the digital licensing partner for independents, and previous GM of Epitaph Records), Charles Caldas (CEO of Merlin for 12 years, during which time the organization grew to over 20,000 independent label and distributor members), Amy Dietz (previously GM of independent music distribution leader Ingrooves) and John Burk (Grammy-winning producer and former President of Concord Records).
Backed by substantial investment capital and based on core founding values of integrity, fairness, openness, humility and excellence, Exceleration plans to leverage its partners’ extensive expertise and deep understanding of the independent music culture to make tailored investments in independent music rights and the individuals that create them.
According to Barros, “When I started the company, I decided to go with a ‘first who, then what’ strategy. With our industry becoming more and more commoditized, I wanted to put people first – people who care about independent music and share similar values. Quite frankly, I am completely amazed and truly blessed by how this strategy has developed. To have partners like John, Amy, Charles and Dave is truly a dream come true. But it goes beyond this, to the great investors we’re working with, the team we’re assembling, our professional advisors, and now the opportunity to work with Bruce Iglauer at Alligator Records. With a dedicated group like this, I know we’re going to do great things for the indie community and have a lot of fun along the way.”