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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label James Cotton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Cotton. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Third Man Records: Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 - Various Artists - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent 2 cd release, Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 from Third Man Records and it's terrific! Opening with Dirty Mother For You, a classic by Roosevelt Sykes, this classic track really gets the ball rolling with his suggestive language and his classic piano style. JB Hutto and his Hawk do a terrific Too Much Alcohol with Hutto's dynamic slide work. An excellent contribution by Jimmy Dawkins, I Wonder Why shows exactly why his nickname was Fast Fingers. Luther Allison and the Blue Nebulae play a super log take on Everybody Must Suffer/Stone Crazy and really gives his guitar a workout... makes you sweat just listening to it. Excellent! Another really fat guitar laden track is Otis Rush and So Many Roads. This is an excellent closer for disc one.

Disc 2 opens with Muddy Waters and Long Distance Call. Muddy's vocals are super and he has that crying slide work, backed by Paul Oscher on harp. Very nice. Charlie Musselwhite really brings the tempo up with Movin and Groovin, a super harp boogie. Of particular interest is Shirley Griffith's delta style rendition of Jelly Jelly Blues accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Very strong. T-Bone Walker performs his classic, Stormy Monday and a nice long 10 minute plus guitar duet with Luthur Allison. Must be heard. Big Mama Thornton performs her classic, Ball and Chain, supported by T-Bone Walker. I mean, what else could you ask for...really? Sam Lay performs Key To The Highway with Luther Tucker another stellar track with excellent piano by possibly Skip Rose. When you think this is winding down you get the triple whammy. Lightnin' Hopkins on Mojo Hand with Luther Tucker, James Cotton blowing the walls down on Off The Wall with Luther Tucker and Bill Nugent on sax and Lastly... Son House... Son House...  on Death Letter Blues. I was born far too early. This concert is totally off the hook. Thankfully it is released by Third Man. Excellent!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

James Cotton has passed - My thoughts are with his family

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — James Cotton, a Grammy Award-winning blues harmonica master whose full-throated sound backed such blues legends as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Howlin' Wolf, has died at age 81.
A statement from Alligator Records, Cotton's label, says he died Thursday of pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin.
The Mississippi Delta native performed professionally since age 9. Cotton backed Muddy Waters in his landmark album "At Newport" on Chess Records.

After going solo in the 1960s, Cotton released almost 30 albums, including his 1996 Grammy Award-winning Verve album, "Deep In The Blues." His most recent album, "Cotton Mouth Man" for Alligator Records in 2013, was nominated for a Grammy.

James Henry Cotton (July 1, 1935 – March 16, 2017) was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, who performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time and with his own band. He played drums early in his career but is famous for his harmonica playing.
Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings in Memphis for Sun Records, under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band. Cotton became Waters's bandleader and stayed with the group until 1965. In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with Waters's band. He eventually left Waters to form his own full-time touring group. His first full album, on Verve Records, was produced by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist and songwriter Nick Gravenites, who later were members of the band Electric Flag.
In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Waters's Grammy Award–winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Six Alligator Artists Win LIVING BLUES Awards



SIX ALLIGATOR ARTISTS WIN LIVING BLUES AWARDS

Living Blues magazine has announced the recipients of the 2015 Living Blues Awards. Six Alligator Records artists received a total of six awards. In the Critics' Poll, James Cotton won Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica), Joe Louis Walker won Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar) and Selwyn Birchwood won for Best Blues Album of 2014 (New Recording/Best Debut) for Don't Call No Ambulance. In the Readers' Poll, Shemekia Copeland (whose new CD Outskirts Of Love will be released on September 11) received the award for Blues Artist Of The Year (Female). Marcia Ball won for Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard) and Elvin Bishop won Best Blues Album Of 2014 (New Release) for his Grammy-nominated Can't Even Do Wrong Right.

CRITICS' POLL WINNERS:

SELWYN BIRCHWOOD:
Best Blues Album Of 2014 (New Recording/Best Debut):
Don't Call No Ambulance











JAMES COTTON:
Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)












JOE LOUIS WALKER:
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Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)












READERS' POLL WINNERS:
Blues Artist Of The Year (Female)










ELVIN BISHOP:
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Best Blues Album Of 2014 (New Release):
Can't Even Do Wrong Right









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Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard)








Monday, July 27, 2015

JULY 24 rel-MUDDY WATERS 100 w/Johnny Winter, John Primer, Gary Clark Jr., Keb' Mo', Derek Trucks


                                                                                                                                                
 MUDDY WATERS 100 featuring
 JOHN PRIMER, GARY CLARK, JR., JOHNNY WINTER, JAMES COTTON, KEB' MO', DEREK TRUCKS, SHEMEKIA COPELAND, BOB MARGOLIN
                                                                                                                                                    

"Primer is a terrific singer; strong, strutting and just enough like his mentor Muddy to make these songs authentic but not a mirror image. The performances are spirited without a dud in all 15. And, perhaps most impressively, the sumptuous hardcover package with 48 heavy stock pages of rare photos and a beautifully penned essay from veteran music writer Robert Gordon is the definition of classy." (American Songwriter)

"a worthy tribute and a must for anyone who’s ever appreciated Waters’ sweeping influence. Meaning everybody." (Gatehouse Newspapers)

Chicago, IL - Raisin' Music Records proudly announces the release of "MUDDY WATERS 100" on JULY 24, 2015.

This officially authorized centennial tribute to Muddy Waters, "MUDDY WATERS 100" is a once-in-a-lifetime CD that celebrates, commemorates and contributes to the musical legacy of this American icon. Produced by 2X Grammy nominated producer Larry Skoller ("Heritage Blues Orchestra"/ "Chicago Blues: A Living History"), the CD is contained in a collectible CD-sized hard-cover book with 48 pages illustrated with black and white photography by some of the greatest photographers of Muddy's time. Also included is an original essay by Robert Gordon, Grammy-winning author of the definitive Muddy Waters biography "Can't Be Satisfied - The Life and Times of Muddy Waters".

"MUDDY WATERS 100" includes 15 newly recorded tracks featuring Muddy Waters Band alumni and many of today's most preeminent American blues and roots artists including JOHN PRIMER, GARY CLARK JR., JAMES COTTON, KEB' MO', JOHNNY WINTER, DEREK TRUCKS, BOB MARGOLIN, BILLY BRANCH and SHEMEKIA COPELAND backed by some of the greatest musicians on the Chicago blues scene including The Living History Band featuring Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith (drums -- son of longtime Muddy drummer Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith), Johnny Iguana (keyboards), Felton Crews (bass) and Billy Flynn (guitar).



Vocalist/guitarist JOHN PRIMER, who played with Muddy until his death in 1983, is recognized as one of today's most crucial keepers of the Chicago blues flame. For "MUDDY WATERS 100", Primer gives a deeply personal tribute to the man he knew so very well. Other distinguished Muddy Waters alumni on this recording include harmonica legend JAMES COTTON and guitarist BOB MARGOLIN (who played alongside Muddy for 7 years and was very close to the man and his music. The late great blues guitarist/producer JOHNNY WINTER played on the song "I'm Ready" for this album just a few weeks before he passed away in July 2014. ("I'm Ready" is the title track from Muddy's Grammy-winning album produced by Winter back in 1978 -- one of two albums that Winter produced for Muddy in the late '70s. Cotton & Margolin also played on the Winter-produced "I'm Ready" album). Along with Muddy alumni, this gathering of some of the most preeminent blues and roots artists of today makes this tribute truly a landmark celebration. Billy Branch, Gary Clark, Jr., Shemekia Copeland, Keb Mo' and Derek Trucks embody the spirit of this project: that for a tradition to survive, it must be passed on through generations and must remain in a constant state of evolution by redefining itself in a contemporary context. By pushing the boundaries of this music, as Muddy did in his time, and with their own original voices and stories, these artists are helping to give the blues its future.

It could be argued that Muddy Waters has had more influence on the sound of American popular music than any other single artist of the 20th century. "MUDDY WATERS 100" is a centennial celebration of his musical legacy, his iconic sound and his immeasurable contribution to and influence on American music. Driven by a deep respect for this master of the blues and for the blues traditions that spawned his talent, "MUDDY WATERS 100" tributes the past, embraces the present and recognizes the bright future of the blues for which Muddy paved the way. In the spirit of his legacy, "MUDDY WATERS 100" puts the spotlight on the inextricable mix of old and new school that Muddy left in his wake. The newly recorded songs on this album represent the various periods and styles of Muddy's musical path, from his 1941 recordings on Stovall plantation in Mississippi to his arrival in Chicago and subsequent evolution during the 1940s and 1950s, including his pioneering electric guitar sound at the Chess Records studios. By design, this album has not taken a strictly archival approach in its treatments of Muddy's songs. Some tracks are handled traditionally; there are also contemporary treatments and new arrangements that focus on today's sounds. Whether it be rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, the tube electronics of the earliest five-watt amplifiers or digital samples, drum loops and electronica -- in one way or another these sounds all lead back to Muddy Waters.

"Muddy Waters would be a hundred years old today…The whole story of the blues can be heard, felt, and learned in the life of Muddy Waters…Born April 4, 1915…in the soggy part of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, this mannish boy would soon move north in the delta with his grandmother to Stovall Farms, near where the train lines crossed in Clarksdale, and from there to Chicago. He absorbed the rhythm and feel of the south until it was part of his bones, electrifying that sound in the industrial north. His 1958 trip to England planted ideas there that would awaken America to its indigenous sounds. Muddy's music ignited a cultural revolution...from the brutal and fertile fields of Mississippi, he changed the world. The tiller of the soil became the definer of a nation, the symbol of freedom. Muddy's achievement is emblematic of American democracy, the ultimate triumph of the dirt farmer, bringing respect to the disrespected. He did it with his guitar and with his voice, touching emotions that touched traditions. A century has passed, but we are still building on the foundation that Muddy Waters established, his sound and style still going strong. His influence is everywhere around us." (from Robert Gordon's liner notes essay)

www.muddywaters100.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blind & Blues Bound - Dr. Izzy Band - New release review

I just received the newest release, Blind & Blues Bound, from Dr. Izzy Band and it's got spunk. Opening with Matches Don't Burn Memories, featuring Dr. Izzy on vocals and James Cotton ripping some great harp riffs over a solid 60's style guitar rocker. Sounding at times like Nugent or Marino, Robert Morrison cranks on the guitar. Soul Dance has a sultry feel of an 18th century ballad as articulated by the Brits in the 60's. A cool retro style track with violin and a crisp guitar solo. Been Long Time Comin' is built around a standard blues riff but with arpeggios. The Dr. has a clean vocal attack and Morrison over tracks his guitar solo's nicely creating an interesting weave. Earth Bound has a bit more sting with searing electric guitar work. A heavy bottom on this track gives it a Mountain like feel but Morrison's guitar work is succinct and different from Wests. Old Black Crow features Otis Taylor with a more modern but country R&B feel. Interesting twist. One Last Walk is a slow bluesy ballad with soulful vocals and a solid guitar line. Very nice. Mama Said has a down home country folk found with basic acoustic guitar, fiddle and vocals. Passion's Not A Crime is a solid country style vocal ballad with R&B basis. Nice backing and Muscle Shoals like guitar riffs compliment this track. Dirt Bed is my favorite track on the release with a bottom heavy (When the Levee Breaks) feel. Cool! Hang Tough has an interesting blend of rock, country, funk and pop. Likely the most radio track on the release with just the right kind of guitar riff to set it off. It's Been Real has a blended rock/reggae feel with 80's anthem overtones. Your Redeemer, a quiet but strong vocal blended ballad wraps the release trimmed only by light acoustic guitar.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 

Friday, May 9, 2014

James Cotton Wins Blues Music Award


JAMES COTTON WINS BLUES MUSIC AWARD
FOR TRADITIONAL BLUES MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR

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On Thursday, May 8, Grammy Award-winning harmonica master James Cotton received the Blues Music Award for Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year. The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 35th Annual Blues Music Awards in a ceremony held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Cotton, who was in attendence at the ceremony, is currently celebrating his 70th year as a professional performer, and is hot off the heels of 2013's Grammy-nominated Cotton Mouth Man. 

Cotton Mouth Man is an upbeat, warm blues album boasting fine musicianship and Cotton's undeniable spirit. Living Blues says, "James Cotton is one of the great harmonica innovators of his generation. Cotton Mouth Man is a star-studded affair that makes James Cotton's best recording for Alligator. It is an autobiographical narrative of Cotton's eventful life and soul-deep relationship with the blues. He plays with an authority and energy that belies his age." NPR Music declares, "Conjure up a list of all-time great blues harmonica players, and high up on it you'll see the name James Cotton.


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Monday, May 5, 2014

17th Annual Doheny Blues Festival


Get ready for a weekend of blues, roots, and rock music at the 17th Annual Doheny Blues Festival on May 17 & 18, 2014. Enjoy 20+ performances on three different stages, tasty microbrews, local vendors and delicious food. Headlining the 2014 festival are Gregg Allman, The Doobie Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Buddy Guy, and Vintage Trouble. Also joining the line-up are Keb’ Mo’, James Cotton & Friends, Ruthie Foster, Charles Bradley & The Extraordinaires, The Mannish Boys Revue, and John Németh & The Bo-Keys. Grab your friends and family and head down to Dana Point’s Doheny State Beach for the Doheny Blues Festival on May 17 & 18, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alligator Records News Briefs - April 16, 2014



JAMES COTTON RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
FROM MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION

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Conjure up a list of all-time great blues harmonica players, and high up on it you'll see the name James Cotton.
--NPR

The Mississippi Arts Commission presented blues music icon (and Tunica, Mississippi native) James Cotton with the coveted Governor's Award For Excellence In The Arts in a ceremony held February 20, 2014 at Belhaven University in Clarion, Mississippi. The Governor's Arts Awards are presented annually to outstanding writers, artists, performers, craftsmen and educators who have made significant and lasting contributions through their work as well as to corporations or organizations on the basis of their dedication to arts advancement. Previous winners include B.B. King, Little Milton Campbell, and Bo Diddley.

Video of the presentation and live performance is here: http://www.alligator.com/artists/James-Cotton/.

Cotton is currently celebrating his 70th year as a professional entertainer. His Grammy-nominated 2013 CD, Cotton Mouth Man, is an upbeat, warm blues album boasting fine musicianship and Cotton's undeniable spirit. Living Blues says, "James Cotton is one of the great harmonica innovators of his generation. Cotton Mouth Man is a star-studded affair that makes James Cotton's best recording for Alligator. It is an autobiographical narrative of Cotton's eventful life and soul-deep relationship with the blues. He plays with an authority and energy that belies his age."


JOE LOUIS WALKER TO PARTICIPATE IN MONK INSTITUTE'S
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY IN OSAKA

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Blues Hall of Famer Joe Louis Walker will take part in the Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz's International Jazz Day in Osaka, Japan on April 30, 2014. Many other artists will also perform, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and John Scofield.

According to the Monk Institute, "The designation of International Jazz Day is intended to bring together communities, schools and other groups the world over to celebrate and learn more about the art of jazz, its roots and its impact. Ultimately, it seeks to foster intercultural dialogue and raise public awareness about the role of jazz music. As a language of freedom across the board, jazz promotes social inclusion, enhancing understanding, tolerance and nurturing creativity."

From its base in Washington, DC, the Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz identifies jazz music's new voices, honoring its present and past masters, making the jazz aesthetic available and comprehensible in concert halls and classrooms around the world. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing International Jazz Day.

Walker's latest album, Hornet's Nest, has been hailed as a true blues tour-de-force. USA Today says it is "tough and resilient." Living Blues added, "Few contemporary blues artists blend aggression, deep feeling and eclecticism with the panache and ferocity of Joe Louis Walker."


SONGS FROM ALLIGATOR ARTISTS APPEAR ON NATIONAL TELEVISION

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Alligator Records recordings from Professor Longhair, Corey Harris and Anders Osborne have and continue to appear on network television programs. Professor Longhair's Whole Lotta Lovin' (from his Crawfish Fiesta album) is the opening theme song for My Big Redneck Family, airing weekly on the CMT network. Corey Harris' Moosemilk Blues (from his Fish Ain't Bitin' CD) and Anders Osborne's On The Road To Charlie Parker (from his American Patchwork CD) both appeared in the April 1 episode of CBS Television's NCIS.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Alligator Records News Briefs Nov 4, 2013




HARMONICA GIANT JAMES COTTON RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

Conjure up a list of all-time great blues harmonica players, and high up on it you'll see the name James Cotton.
--NPR

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The Mississippi Arts Commission will present blues music icon (and Tunica, Mississippi native) James Cotton with the coveted Governor's Award For Excellence In The Arts in a ceremony set for February 20, 2014 at Belhaven University in Clarion, Mississippi. The Governor's Arts Awards are presented annually to outstanding writers, artists, performers, craftsmen and educators who have made significant and lasting contributions through their work as well as to corporations or organizations on the basis of their dedication to arts advancement. Previous winners include B.B. King, Little Milton Campbell, and Bo Diddley.

Cotton is currently celebrating his 69th year as a professional entertainer. His 2013 CD, Cotton Mouth Man, is an upbeat, warm blues album boasting fine musicianship and Cotton's undeniable spirit. Living Blues says, "James Cotton is one of the great harmonica innovators of his generation. Cotton Mouth Man is a star-studded affair that makes James Cotton's best recording for Alligator. It is an autobiographical narrative of Cotton's eventful life and soul-deep relationship with the blues. He plays with an authority and energy that belies his age."

Cotton Mouth Man was recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/ drummer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, Susan Tedeschi). The album is a trip through sounds and scenes from Cotton's long and storied career. Helping Cotton tell his stories and showcase his music are guests Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Ruthie Foster, Warren Haynes, Delbert McClinton and Keb Mo. Other vocals are handled by Darrell Nulisch, who has been singing in Cotton's road band for many years.


CURTIS SALGADO WINS BLUES BLAST AWARD FOR SOUL BLUES ALBUM OF THE YEAR FOR SOUL SHOT

"Curtis Salgado's range and power as a vocalist are a tour-de-force...hard-nosed blues, beautifully nuanced R&B, phat and funky."
--Billboard

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Soul singer Curtis Salgado received the 2013 Blues Blast Award for Soul Blues Album Of The Year for his 2012 Alligator Records debut CD, Soul Shot. The awards ceremony, presented by Blues Blast Magazine, was held in Chicago at Buddy Guy's Legends on Thursday, October 31. Salgado recently won The Blues Foundation's Blues Music Awards for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year, and Soul Blues Album Of The Year for Soul Shot. He also won a Muddy Award for Best National Blues Album from Oregon's Cascade Blues Association.
Soul Shot speaks loud and clear to contemporary audiences, carrying on the timeless spirit of 1960s and ‘70s R&B. The album features four Salgado originals and seven carefully chosen covers. Songs by Johnny "Guitar" Watson, George Clinton, Otis Redding and Bobby Womack flow into and out of Salgado's own compositions. Each track -- the slow-burning ballads and the driving rockers -- is delivered with the vocal power and passion of a musical master. According to Salgado, "Soul Shot is the solid best thing I've ever done. That's a fact."

Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer accepted the honor in Curtis' behalf. Iglauer also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Delmark Records founder and president (and Iglauer's former boss and mentor), Bob Koester.



MARCIA BALL TO APPEAR IN ANGELS SING, IN THEATRES AND ON DEMAND NOVEMBER 1, 2013

"More fun than a barrel of funky monkeys. Ball's awesome mélange of keyboard styles sets the tone: call it the Zydeco boogie-woogie blues. Horns chug faster and faster, guitars drop by for a rock ‘n' roll interlude."
--NPR


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Singer, pianist, songwriter Marcia Ball makes her major motion picture debut in the film Angels Sing, premiering in theatres and On Demand on Friday, November 1. The film stars Henry Connick, Jr. and features Grammy-winning musicians including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Kris Kristofferson. In the film, Marcia plays Great Aunt Jocelyn. Ball's latest release is the Grammy-nominated Roadside Attractions.
 





ANDERS OSBORNE AND JESSE DEE SONGS APPEAR IN NETWORK TELEVISION PROGRAMS

"Anders Osborne plays fiery anthems and tumultuous, confessional songs punctuated with glorious, raw guitar."
--USA Today

"Jesse Dee delivers authenticity with every note. The young neo-soul and R&B singer from Boston has put out an album of self-penned songs that are so well-written, so amazingly arranged and performed, you'll wonder why this guy doesn't just own the music business."
--San Francisco Chronicle

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CBS-TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation featured Anders Osborne's Black Tar in an episode which aired on October 30. The song originally appeared on Osborne's 2011 Black Eye Galaxy CD. Osborne's new album, Peace, was released last month.

ABC-TV's Criminal Minds will feature Jesse Dee's original song Fussin' And Fightin' in an episode set to air on November 13. The song originally appeared on Dee's 2013 Alligator Records debut CD, On My Mind / In My Heart.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Alligator Records artist: JAMES COTTON - COTTON MOUTH MAN - New release Review - Ellis James guest contributer



Blues harmonica legend, James Cotton releases his new CD “Cotton Mouth Man” which will be available at local and online record stores beginning May 07, 2013. May is also a time in which Cotton’s 77 year old face fills the cover of the current issue of Living Blues magazine. Writer and walking Blues almanac, David White provides a 10-page look at a career spanning nearly 60 years. This CD was premiered at a live performance, Saturday, May 25, 2013 at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonerry, New Hampshire.

Cotton Mouth Man follows the trend of collaboration and featuring key players to round out the disk filled with 13 no-nonsense blues tunes. This by no means is a compromise but in this case is a certain gift to the listener. Guests as they appear in order are Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman, Keb’ Mo, Warren Haynes, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton and vocalist Darrell Nulisch, long time veteran of Cotton's road band. The backbone of Cotton's band on this CD are the great Tom Hambridge on drums, Rob McNelley on guitar, Chuck Leavell  on keys, and Glenn Worf  on bass.The title track, Cotton Mouth Man,  features Joe Bonamassa on  guitar played with the fervor and sound of  Ten Years After at Woodstock. Next up is Midnight Train  featuring Gregg Allman. Subtle harmonica intro that kicks into a full band punch. A healthy and strong sounding Gregg Allman delivers the vocals and organ amongst great doses of Cotton’s distinctive harmonica and tasty guitar licks from beginning to end. Mississippi Mud featuring Keb Mo is next as acoustic juke joint piano lays down the solid foundation for Cotton’s harp, tasty electric guitar with Mo’s distinctive and cool vocals covering the top. This is one cut wherein there is an extra nice harmonica bridge solo that is quite cool. A none too subtle homage is given to Muddy Waters in both name dropping tip of the hat and song title inference. Something For Me wakes things up with the Warren Haynes' slip and slide which seems to fit hand and glove to the harmonica work. Touches of the ZZ Top like ‘buzzin’ and processed vocals add to an over all effect. Heartfelt female vocals from Rutie Foster gives a great change up in style in the Wrapped Around My Heart torch song.  A more complex harmonica arrangement meshes perfectly with the blistering guitar riffs and passionate lyrics.  
Saint on Sunday gives a two-for-one “Devil on Saturday and Saint on Sunday” view of two women rolled into one. This is a straight ahead driving song with prominent harp and bass line with the organ taking a more subtle back seat. Delbert McClinton lends his distinctive vocal delivery and guitar to a definite dance tune. Hard Sometimes reminds us the of difficulties of getting someone out of your mind with a funky double entendre to boot.  Drums and Bass are featured more than other cuts in the respect lent to Young Bold Women. Three words that work well together in describing what makes everything alright. Beginning with an almost a Calypso skip beat morphs into a straight up basic 4/4 blues beat only to bounce back and forth between the timing changes resulting in a song that would be easy to believe as a fun romp for the players to perform. Story telling is  key to the lucky find of a Bird Nest On the Ground. Once again a good Cotton bridge solo which stands out as my favorite example of James’ notable talent on this recording. I have to admit that Keb’ Mo is one of my favorites for vocal style and his ability to tell a story. Wasn’t My Time To Go draws in the listener with more round house piano and subtle harp with what sounds like a tasty arch-top
Blues is Good For You is a pleasant bass-driven walking blues with a simple story filled with references to Southern style and a strong platform for Cotton to blow his blues away. This is sure to bring a tap of the toe and a smile to your face. Bonnie Blue features Cotton on vocals and harmonica laid over a basic resonator guitar.  It’s great to hear Cottons voice both because of the texture that he gives to the song and as a testament to his right to call himself a bluesman. 


If you are a fan of harmonica blues then this is certainly a release that demands your spin time and attention. Less is more in this case. Production values are superior and a definite recommended collection!

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band! Here's James live in concert. Not a cut from his current release.