35th Anniversary Jam of the James Cotton Blues Band

35th Anniversary Jam of the James Cotton Blues Band

by James Cotton
     
 
It’s been 35 years since harmonica player James Cotton left Muddy Waters’s band to go out on his own. His touring through both the lean and lush years has ravaged his singing voice, but it has only made Cotton’s harp licks stronger -- hence, the “Superharp” label often attached to his name. For his 35TH Anniversary Jam recording,

Overview

It’s been 35 years since harmonica player James Cotton left Muddy Waters’s band to go out on his own. His touring through both the lean and lush years has ravaged his singing voice, but it has only made Cotton’s harp licks stronger -- hence, the “Superharp” label often attached to his name. For his 35TH Anniversary Jam recording, the Chicago blues veteran invited a bunch of his friends to join him in the studio; but the limelight seldom leaves Cotton. Chicago blues queen Koko Taylor belts out “I’ve Got a Feeling” with Cotton’s harp warbling and wailing beside her. On young singing sensation Shamekia Copeland’s “How Long Can a Fool Go Wrong” the harp master goes from a precise and delicate solo to wide open blowing. For Cotton’s signature tune, “Cotton Crop Blues,” Lucky Peterson sings and plays lead guitar, but again it’s that hard-edged Chi-town harp that drives the tune. The harpist mellows to melodic blasts and single-note blows on “Fatuation,” which features the soulful singing of Bobby Rush. Even smoother are two instrumentals: “Blues in My Sleep,” with G.E. Smith on guitar, and “Blues for the Hook,” which features only Jimmie Vaughan’s guitar dueting with Cotton’s harp. Ronnie Hawkins, Kenny Neal, Kim Wilson, Tab Benoit, Sly Johnson, and Maria Muldaur also sit in with Cotton and his band, making this Jama set that crosses generations and genres while still showcasing the harp master at his best.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Don't complain that there are too many guests here -- that's what this jam was all about, inviting a bunch of friends and kindred spirits to jam in the studio during June of 2001. These musicians were here to salute not just the great James Cotton and his songs, but the long life of his classic James Cotton Blues Band, by playing some of their greatest songs and having a good time. And that's what this is -- a good jam session, performed with heart and vigor. Some of the guests might be a bit better than others, but the band is lively, there's more grit than you'd expect for an all-digital production, and Cotton has moments where he simply smokes. He's constantly a joy to hear; listen to how he breaks into "Jingle Bells" during "The Creeper" and try not to smile. Sure, this isn't the first James Cotton album you should get, or even the fifth, but if you've been a longtime fan, you'll have fun with this.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/28/2002
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408355028
catalogNumber:
83550
Rank:
108684

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Cotton   Primary Artist,Harmonica
Kenny Neal   Vocals
Lucky Peterson   Guitar,Vocals
Koko Taylor   Vocals
Ronnie Hawkins   Vocals
Maria Muldaur   Vocals
Bobby Rush   Vocals
Kim Wilson   Harp,Vocals
Tab Benoit   Guitar
Per Hanson   Drums
Syl Johnson   Vocals
David Maxwell   Piano
Noel Neal   Bass
Derek O'Brien   Rhythm Guitar
G.E. Smith   Guitar
Jimmie Vaughan   Guitar
Mike Williams   Rhythm Guitar
Shemekia Copeland   Vocals

Technical Credits

Amos Milburn   Composer
Butch Bonner   Engineer
Jackie Brenston   Composer
John Sinclair   Liner Notes
Larry Sturm   Engineer
Stuart Sullivan   Engineer
Robert Woods   Executive Producer
Steve Drown   Engineer
Nelson Blanchard   Engineer
Bob Stander   Engineer
Randy Labbe   Producer
Billy Horton   Engineer
Rueben Williams   Engineer
Derrick Martin   Engineer
Joe Bellami   Engineer
L. Cullum   Composer

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