Album Review: James Cotton, Cotton Mouth Man

By Tony Neilson

At 78, blues harp player James Cotton, alongside Buddy Guy, is one of the few musicians still active who played in the seminal Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf bands and for Chess Records during Chicago's halcyon days in the 1950s and 60s. Be warned this is a tough sounding ensemble, with a take no prisoners attitude.

In fact it's not hard to imagine these sounds belting out from the likes of Silvios club on Chicago's Southside, back in the day. Guest musos play a part, with Joe Bonamassa, Chuck Leavell, Greg Allman, Keb Mo and Delbert McClinton, all contributing.

The other satisfying aspect of Cotton Mouth Man is that Cotton hasn't fallen back on the age old chestnut of reworking blues classics that have been done to death, Instead they've gone for a fresh batch of material that stills carries the authenticity of the blues genre. I can't think of any recent blues release which reaches these heights.

James Cotton

Cotton Mouth Man

- Hamilton News

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