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COTTON, James James Cotton - Rocks (CD)

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1-CD (Digipak) with 36 page booklet, 27 tracks. Total playing time approx. 75 min. Bear...more

COTTON, James: James Cotton - Rocks (CD)

1-CD (Digipak) with 36 page booklet, 27 tracks. Total playing time approx. 75 min.

  • Bear Family Records® dedicates a CD album in the 'Rocks' series to James Cotton (1935-2017), one of the most dazzling personalities in the world of blues harmonica.
  • 27 recordings, made between 1953 and 1968, including four numbers from his very first recording session, nine tracks with the Muddy Waters Band, two songs from rare British EPs with Chris Barber and Alexis Korner, 12 recordings with Cotton as bandleader, including a Verve recording (first time on CD).
  • Important, innovative musicians such as Pat Hare, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Paul Butterfield, J. T. Brown, Harvey Simmons and Otis Clay can be heard.
  • The extensive booklet contains discographical information on each track, an exciting photo gallery and detailed notes by Martin Hawkins.
  • Careful re-mastering guarantees premium audio quality.

The harmonica as a lead instrument for rock and roll! 
Yeah, sure, why not?
Especially when the mouth harp is wielded by James Cotton, the man who grew up with blues giants during the formative years of rock ‘n’ roll and went on to have one of the first R&B bands to play on the white rock festival circuit. 

Cotton – one of the most celebrated figures in the world of blues harmonica – was also a rock 'n' roll man. For that reason, this is one of the most significant discs in our 'Rocks' series.

Growing up in a world where rock heroes, and most blues heroes, were singers, guitar players, sometimes piano players, maybe sax men, Cotton said he modelled his harp playing on the saxophone parts in rhythm and blues and jazz. 

He was championed by rock bands as both an influence and a comrade in the electric blues-rock years. The ‘Chicago Tribune’ reviewed his harp playing as "gritty, gutsy, ferociously uninhibited, and what great harp work is all about.” 

This CD of superfine music shows where the blues came from and where R&B and rock 'n' roll took it. The tracks are full of invigorating harp riffs and solos but they also contain excellent vocal performances by James Cotton himself and by his one-time boss, Muddy Waters.

It was Sonny Boy Williamson who taught Cotton the basics of getting a tune out of the harmonica, and of an audience, in Mississippi. After a spell in West Memphis and recording for Sun, Cotton then recorded and worked for years with the master of the hard-edged Chicago blues, Muddy Waters. 

And then he formed his own band in the mid-1960s. It was called The James Cotton Blues Band, but he and every one of his men knew how to rock out too. Cotton said: "I try to play from deep inside me and to keep the music honest. I prefer it upbeat and up-tempo too because all the problems people have are gone once we start playing."

James Cotton was born in July 1935 near Tunica, Ms. He lived variously in West Memphis, Chicago, Memphis, and Dallas. He died in March 2017 in Texas, aged 81. 

Cotton continued to record into the 1970s and for another three decades beyond. He won a Grammy and other awards and was still guesting at music festivals and picking up accolades at awards shows in his eighties. But all that is another story. For the moment, we're focusing here on how the earlier music of James Cotton... Rocks.

Video von COTTON, James - James Cotton - Rocks (CD)

Article properties:COTTON, James: James Cotton - Rocks (CD)

  • Interpret: COTTON, James

  • Album titlle: James Cotton - Rocks (CD)

  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Preiscode AR
  • Edition 2 Deluxe Edition
  • Artikelart CD

  • Genre Rock & Roll

  • EAN: 4000127176516

  • weight in Kg 0.115
Cotton, James - James Cotton - Rocks (CD) CD 1
01My BabyJames Cotton
02Rocket 88James Cotton
03Hold Me In Your ArmsJames Cotton
04Don't Start Me Talkin'James Cotton
05Feelin' GoodJames Cotton
06Straighten Up BabyJames Cotton
07Cotton Crop BluesJames Cotton
08She's Got ItMuddy Waters
09Rock Me (All Night Long)Muddy Waters
10Rock Me MamaJames Cotton
11You Don't Have To GoMuddy Waters
12Off The WallJames Cotton
13Short Dress WomanMuddy Waters
14Oh Why? (I Need You So Bad)James Cotton
15Take Your Hands Off HerJames Cotton
16I Won't Go OnMuddy Waters
17Jimmy's JumpJames Cotton
18Meanest WomanMuddy Waters
19Lovin' CupJames Cotton
20Elevate Me MamaMuddy Waters
21Three Harp BoogieJames Cotton
22I Feel So GoodMuddy Waters
23Honest I DoJames Cotton
24Love Me Or Leave MeJames Cotton
25My Dog Can't BarkMuddy Waters
26Next Time You See MeJames Cotton
27Cotton Crop BluesJames Cotton
The James Cotton Band For much of the ‘70s, harp blaster James Cotton fronted one of the... more
"COTTON, James"

The James Cotton Band

For much of the ‘70s, harp blaster James Cotton fronted one of the highest-energy blues bands in the business

A product of Tunica, Mississippi, born on July 1, 1935, Cotton's harp mentor from age nine was Sonny Boy Williamson. "I heard Sonny Boy one day over station KFFA in Arkansas. He was singing songs and blowing harmonica. And I liked it. So I told my uncle about it,"says Cotton."I guess six or seven months later he took me to see him."Williamson's tough love tutelage was invaluable."I stayed with Sonny Boy six years.  The only thing Sonny Boy did was just kind of guide me along. He never picked up a harp and said, 'Play this,' or 'Play that.' I just kind of watched him do it, and I was around him all the time.

15-year-old James inherited Sonny Boy's band after Williamson's wife split. "She moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and we was in West Memphis, Arkansas,"says Cotton."So I guess after she was there six or seven months, Sonny Boy couldn't take it no more. He just walked in one night and gave me the band, and cut out the next morning. The band didn't stay together long. I was a kid."

Howlin' Wolf hired the youth to play on a ‘52 date at Sam Phillips' Memphis studio. Phillips signed James to a Sun Records contract the next year. "I used to be on the radio, station KWEM, West Memphis, Arkansas, from 3:00 ‘til 3:15,"he says."I guess Phillips heard the show, and he called me over and asked me if I wanted to do some recording." Pat Hare's raging guitar sliced through Cotton's '54 Sun encore, Cotton Crop Blues. Later that year, Muddy Waters brought him north to Chicago.

"Muddy had been on a tour down through Tennessee, Georgia, Florida,"says Cotton."Junior Wells was playing with him. Something happened where Junior left the band. He was coming back to Memphis to play, and he needed a harp player. Everybody told him about me, and he came over and found me."  Perhaps Cotton's most memorable moment with Waters came when he blew up a tornado at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival on Muddy's Got My Mojo Working (this live version is often regarded as definitive). "I put the arrangement on there,"he notes.

Cotton finally went on his own in 1966. "I wanted to stretch out more on my harp and play more," he says. "A lot of things I wanted to play that I couldn't play in the band, because I was playing Muddy Waters' music."He waxed the first of his three solo LPs for Verve Forecast the next year. "That's the first album that ever kicked off anything for us,"says James.

Bassist Charles Calmese and drummer Kenny Johnson drove the Cotton Band's 1974 Buddah LP ‘100% Cotton' like a runaway semi behind James' full-throttle harp and roaring vocals, but ex-Memphis Slim sideman Matt ‘Guitar' Murphy was its MVP. "Matt Murphy joined me about seven years after I had the band,"says Cotton. Boogie Thing led it off, the modal Murphy composition not far removed from John Lee Hooker's endless boogie groove with Pete Jekanowski guesting on piano. "'100% Cotton' is the one that's been keeping the bacon in the box,"notes Cotton.

Mr. Superharp's voice has been ravaged in recent years by throat cancer, but his harmonica chops remain as prodigious as ever.

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

 

 

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Tracklist
Cotton, James - James Cotton - Rocks (CD) CD 1
01 My Baby
02 Rocket 88
03 Hold Me In Your Arms
04 Don't Start Me Talkin'
05 Feelin' Good
06 Straighten Up Baby
07 Cotton Crop Blues
08 She's Got It
09 Rock Me (All Night Long)
10 Rock Me Mama
11 You Don't Have To Go
12 Off The Wall
13 Short Dress Woman
14 Oh Why? (I Need You So Bad)
15 Take Your Hands Off Her
16 I Won't Go On
17 Jimmy's Jump
18 Meanest Woman
19 Lovin' Cup
20 Elevate Me Mama
21 Three Harp Boogie
22 I Feel So Good
23 Honest I Do
24 Love Me Or Leave Me
25 My Dog Can't Bark
26 Next Time You See Me
27 Cotton Crop Blues