James Cotton

James Cotton

James Cotton

Baby, Don’t You Tear My Clothes

Telarc

King of the “Mississippi Saxophone,” harpist James Cotton largely defined — along with contemporaries Little Walter and Charlie Musselwhite — just how blues harmonica should sound. From his time with Sonny Boy Williamson’s band to the classic combo with Muddy Waters in the ’60’s, Cotton has always been a steady, exciting performer. Although he no longer sings, he has friends enough to make up for that. Luminaries such as Doc Watson, Bobby Rush, Dave Alvin and the wonderful Marcia Ball add their talents to his new release, and the result is enjoyable. Not as up-tempo and driving as his earlier work, the 13 cuts here give Cotton and his guests room to stretch out and shine. Rory Block’s “Mississippi Blues” is a particular standout, but all of the cuts have much to offer a blues fan looking for “the real stuff.”

Telarc: www.telarc.com

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