Cotton Mouth Man

Cotton Mouth Man

by James CottonJames Cotton


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Blues harp maestro James Cotton was 77 at the time of this album's release. He can barely sing anymore, and the years of playing and touring have left his voice a hoarse croak, but make no mistake, he can still play the harp, and his stunning, overdriven blasts on the instrument are as powerful and as immediate as ever. He's the living embodiment of the Chicago blues, and one of the genre's last surviving founders of it, having mentored with the great Sonny Boy Williamson, and he recorded, played, and toured with Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, cutting his first sides at the age of 19 for Chess Records. He's done this a long time, and as this delightful, joyous, stomping, and vibrant set shows, he doesn't need to sing to command the stage. Cotton wrote or co-wrote most of the songs here with the album's producer, Tom Hambridge, and the vocals are handled by guest artists, most of them by Darrell Nulisch, the former Texas Heat and Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets vocalist who has been handling the singing duties for Cotton's band for some time now, but Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton, and Keb' Mo' are also featured singers. But this isn't one of those duets albums that artists make in the twilight of their careers by any shot -- Cotton is amazing on these cuts, his harp blasts full of passion, power, and enough pure energy to light up the night sky. Cotton may not do somersaults on stage anymore, but his harp lines do, weaving in and out of these songs like a charging Chicago freight train. There isn't a single lame cut here, but the closer, "Bonnie Blue," with Cotton croaking out a moving vocal accompanied only by his harp and the resonator guitar playing of Colin Linden, is particularly poignant. Cotton may be cruising in on 80 years of age, but he's just released one of the best albums of his career.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/07/2013
Label: Alligator Records
UPC: 0014551495420
catalogNumber: 4954
Rank: 20227

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Cotton   Primary Artist,Harmonica,Vocals
Delbert McClinton   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Gregg Allman   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jerry Porter   Drums
Warren Haynes   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Joe Bonamassa   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Tom Holland   Guitar
Chuck Leavell   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond B3
Colin Linden   Guitar (Resonator)
Darrell Nulisch   Vocals
Glenn Worf   Bass,Upright Bass
Keb' Mo'   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Tom Hambridge   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Ruthie Foster   Vocals
Rob McNelley   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Noel Neal   Bass
Rob McNelly   Guitar
Tommy Macdonald   Bass
Ruthis Foster   Guest Appearance
Clenn Worf   Bass

Technical Credits

Bruce Iglauer   Executive Producer
Stuart Sullivan   Engineer
Tom Hambridge   Producer
Shane Baldwin   Engineer
Jim Cooley   Engineer
Brendan Muldowney   Engineer
McClinton   Composer
Dollison   Composer
Nick Autry   Engineer

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