Monthly Archives: May 2013


NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday will feature blues harmonica legend James Cotton on Saturday, May 11. Host Scott Simon talks with Cotton about the new CD, Cotton Mouth Man, which was released on May 7. Fellow bluesman Keb Mo (who appears on the CD) joins the conversation to discuss Cotton’s status as a true blues legend, and one of the all-time masters of the instrument.

Cotton Mouth Man premiered on April 29 on the USA Today website with a full album stream. Rolling Stone said, “James Cotton is a world-class harmonica-playing bluesman. Cotton Mouth Man is an upbeat, warm blues album boasting fine musicianship and Cotton’s undeniable spirit.”

Cotton is featured on the cover of the current issue of Living Blues magazine. The 10-page cover story, written by blues scholar David Whiteis, takes an in-depth look at Cotton’s entire career, including his learning directly from Sonny Boy Williamson, recording for Sun Records (before Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash), working with Howlin’ Wolf, touring with Muddy Waters, leading his own band, and the absolute joy he had recording the new CD.

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.

The other members of Cotton’s road band — Jerry Porter, Noel Neal, and Tom Holland — are also on board for some songs. Forming the core of the backing band on the CD are Hambridge (drums), Rob McNelley (guitar), Chuck Leavell (keyboards) and Glenn Worf (bass). Tommy MacDonald and Colin Linden each add guitar to one track. Cotton, who after a bout with throat cancer turned the vocal duties over to others, was inspired by the sessions to return to the microphone, singing his own Bonnie Blue (the name of the plantation where he was born), and making Cotton Mouth Man the most personal, celebratory and just plain fun recording of his seven-decade career.

APRIL 2013: USA Today Streaming James Cotton’s New Star Studded CD, Cotton Mouth Man

USA Today is streaming James Cotton‘s new CD, Cotton Mouth Man, in it’s entirety and it is available to listen to online now. The CD will be officially released on May 7. The USA Today exclusive includes an interview with the legendary Blues harmonica player who is also widely known as "Mr. Superharp." To hear the album in full, check out USA Today: Album premiere: James Cotton’s ‘Cotton Mouth Man’.

Cotton Mouth Man follows Cotton’s 2009 Grammy-nominated album, Giant, of which USA Today proclaimed, "Since 1966 James Cotton has been carrying the Chicago sound to the world. On Giant, he pours 75 years of living into that harmonica and out comes devastating and powerful blasts of notes undiminished by age." On Cotton Mouth Man, the thirteen tracks continue to cover subjects taken from Cotton’s storied history and almost 70 year career in music. The CD contains seven songs co-written by Cotton with Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, Susan Tedeschi) and features guest appearances from renowned Blues, Rock, and Roots musicians including Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Rosebud artist and 2013 GRAMMY-nominee Ruthie Foster, Joe Bonamassa, Delbert McClinton, and Keb Mo.

As Cotton garners wide spread attention for his forthcoming CD, including the 10 page cover story feature in Living Blues Magazine‘s April issue, Cotton continues to tour extensively both nationally and internationally with his band.