Alt-country and more label Bloodshot Records turns 25 this year, and to celebrate the anniversary, they're releasing a compilation called Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots. Here's what the label says about the comp:

Bloodshot Records was launched in 1994 with the release of its first album, the scene-capturing compilation For A Life of Sin: Insurgent Chicago Country. For our 25th anniversary, we wanted to come back home to shine a light, once again, on Chicago - ever-changing, ever-vibrant, ever on the make - to champion the storytellers who keep the city a vital place. While the metropolis is too motley to have a signature sound, it does have a signature hustle, the hope-against-hope drive that a small-timer can beat it past the big shots and catch a break. No matter what may change, move on, or get bulldozed, as long as the city IS, that spark will never be snuffed out. Someone or something will always be here to fan it.

Bloodshot Records is undeniably and proudly a product of that Chicago hope and hustle. As the label’s home, the diverse city has shaped its personality, its sound, and its surrounding scene. The communion of ideas between local artists and purveyors at venues, record shops, bars & restaurants, and numerous independent organizations inspires a certain quirky, inclusive, salt-of-the-earth spirit.

Too Late To Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots is a redux of For A Life of Sin. It is a current magnifying-glass look at some - but not even close to all - of the artists and groups making unique and special music in the city’s roots scene. Some of the artists you may have heard of; some are woven so tightly into the fabric of the city, it’s hard to imagine a time without them; some we’ve claimed, whether they like it or not, as natives; some you might be hearing for the first time; and some you may never hear from again (that one’s to-be-determined).

The compilation features 22 original and cover songs from Robbie Fulks, Freakwater, Jon Langford's Hillbilly Lovechild (featuring Steve Albini), and The Handsome Family, who were all on For A Life of Sin, plus Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds (of Lawrence Arms), ROOKIE, The Hoyle Brothers, Sima Cunningham (of OHMME), Kelly Hogan, Tammi Savoy & the Chris Casello Combo, The Lawrence Peters Outfit, The Western Elstons, Bethany Thomas & Tawny Newsome (of Jon Langford’s Four Lost Souls), Joybird, The Dyes, Wild Earp & The Free For Alls, Big Sadie, David Quinn, Family Gold, The Saluda Moonlighters, Half Gringa, and Los Gallos.

We're premiering the video for Wild Earp & The Free For Alls' "The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago," which is a very nice dose of traditional yet modern-sounding country. The video was directed by Wild Earp, and shot and edited by Paul Dybas, and it features the band galavanting around Chicago and hitting local fixtures like Empty Bottle, Carol's Pub, Lonesome Rose, Chicago Theater, the El train, bus stops, and the shore of Lake Michigan. Watch below.

There will also be two release parties for the comp in Chicago, one on November 9 at Workshop 4200 with ROOKIE, Wild Earp & The Free For Alls, Big Sadie, David Quinn, and The Dyes (info, RSVP); and a Honky Tonk Matinee on November 17 at the Empty Bottle with Kelly Hogan & The Western Elstons.

Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots comes out November 8 via Bloodshot (pre-order).

Wild Earp & The Free For Alls "The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago"
Tammi Savoy & the Chris Casello Combo "If It's News to You"
Jon Langford's Hillbilly Lovechild "I Am a Big Town"
Half Gringa "Wearing White"
Brendan Kelly & the Wandering Birds "Lay Me Down"
The Family Gold "The Sun Is Going Down"
Big Sadie "You Never Told Me"
ROOKIE "Head Over Heels"
The Dyes "Liza Jane"
Robbie Fulks "Lonely Ain't Hardly Alive"
Freakwater "Sway"
David Quinn "Long Time Gone"
The Hoyle Brothers "A Little Bit of Buck"
Bethany Thomas & Tawny Newsome "Dinosaur"
Sima Cunningham "Weeds and Daisies"
The Lawrence Peters Outfit "I Wrote You a Song"
Kelly Hogan "Gotta Have My Baby Back"
The Saluda Moonlighters "Honky Tonkin' in the Moonlight"
Los Gallos "Yeah Yeah Yeah"
Joybird "The Sweetness"
The Western Elstons "Toast That Lie"
The Handsome Family "Tower of Song"

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