James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

James Cotton (with Gregg Allman): Midnight Train
James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator/Southbound)

It's extraordinary to think that harmonica player Cotton played with Howlin' Wolf back in the early Fifties and then Muddy Waters, and at 77 he's not only still here but blowing up a hurricane on this album with high class fans like Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman, Chuck Leavell, Keb Mo, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton and Darrell Nulisch.

He's survived every phase of the fickle interest in the blues, toured with Janis Joplin, played the Fillmores and Carnegie Hall, won a Grammy and has survived throat cancer . . . and he's still blowing sweet and low (Mississippi Mud and Wasn't My Time to Go here with Keb Mo) or seating himself at the centre of a firestorm.

He's got Mississippi mud and Chicago smoke running through his veins but can also fit into the country blues idiom (Midnight Train to MIssissippi with Allman) . . . and many of the lyrics here pay tribute to his longevity, versatility and toughness.

As the song says, "you can't make this stuff up, James Cotton . . . he was there".

A barnstormer album from one of the living legends.

If you want more of the blues -- reviews, interviews and overviews -- then go here

Share It

Your Comments

Al - Jun 4, 2013

crikey. I thought he was old on those Muddy Water albums with Johnny Winter in the late 70's !

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

Otis Taylor: Otis Taylor's Contra Band (Telarc)

Otis Taylor: Otis Taylor's Contra Band (Telarc)

Singer-guitarist Taylor is nominally posted here under Blues in Elsewhere, but -- as always, see previous reviews here -- he doesn't easily fit into the prescription, broad though it might be.... > Read more

Bo Diddley (Dec 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008)

Bo Diddley (Dec 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008)

Tributes will come fast for this legend of rock'n'roll and all will -- or at least they should -- note that for the past four decades the man barely sold an album despite his position as a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ELLIOTT SMITH AND THE BIG NOTHING  by BENJAMIN NUGENT: A friend in need is a . . . pain?

ELLIOTT SMITH AND THE BIG NOTHING by BENJAMIN NUGENT: A friend in need is a . . . pain?

When American singer-songwriter Smith was found dead in October 2003 at age 34 it hardly came as a surprise to many of his small but loyal following. Smith’s lyrics had been suffused in... > Read more

AEROSMITH, THE ULTIMATE HISTORY OF THE BOSTON BAD BOYS by RICHARD BIENSTOCK

AEROSMITH, THE ULTIMATE HISTORY OF THE BOSTON BAD BOYS by RICHARD BIENSTOCK

The real problem with the story of Aerosmith's five decade career is that -- despite the drugs, decadence, women, partying and internal friction -- it is rather boring. It follows such a familiar... > Read more