You know James Cotton’s career has spanned 69 years and his new release Cotton Mouth Man proves that there’s no quit in the man! Way back in the late 60s, the rock music scene was still in its infancy, young folks wanted to know where rock music came from Muddy Waters and Brownie McGhee told them in a song they co-wrote, “The Blues Had a Baby and They Called It Rock and Roll”. According to Cotton’s website:
This song was on the “Hard Again” album on the Blue Sky label featuring Muddy on vocals and guitar, Johnny Winter on guitar, and Cotton on harmonica. Not to be forgotten are the miscellaneous screams provided by Johnny Winter and the miscellaneous hoots (or are they hollers?) of Cotton! It’s obvious, they had a ball while making this record. It won a Grammy in 1977. Some of Janis Joplin’s most popular songs were old blues standards, i.e., Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain.” The first time Cotton opened for Janis she had never heard him play. After the show that night an excited Janis phoned Albert Grossman, who was Janis’ and Cotton’s manager at the time, in Woodstock. Then Albert phoned Cotton saying, “Janis was all excited and told me ‘Man, I REALLY dig that James Cotton, he makes me WORK!’” Cotton opened for and/or sat-in with the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Steve Miller, Freddie King, B.B. King…to name a few. He played the Fillmore East in New York, the Fillmore West in San Francisco, and almost every major venue between those two cities including the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas.
From then on James Cotton, also known as Mr Superharp, has released awarding album after album. I think that this latest one may well be another Grammy winner in the Traditional Blues category it’s just a great album and Cotton has never sounded better. The CD contains seven songs co-written by Cotton with Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, Susan Tedeschi). On the album Cotton is
….joined by special guests Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, Chuck Leavell and Colin Linden for a joyous collection of raucous boogies, sunny country blues and brash Chicago shuffles inspired by Cotton’s colorful and sometime perilous life. Eleven fresh new songs, including “Bonnie Blue,” which features a rare Cotton vocal performance.
So check it out. You know the only James Cotton album in my collection is the album Giant which was Cotton’s release before this one, so I think I really do need to go back and check out some of these award-winning albums!
I couldn’t find any videos from the new album so how about some classic blues from James “Rocket 88”