James Cotton

The musical pedigree of James “Superharp” Cotton consists of a veritable who’s who in the world of the Blues. He’s a Grammy winner, an inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian Institute, and a recipient of countless W.C. Handy Blues Awards. The year 2011 has begun with four coveted nominations. GIANT, his current CD on Alligator Records, has a Grammy nomination for Traditional Blues Album and the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards have nominated GIANT in the same category along with Cotton in both the Traditional Male Artist and Instrumentalist - Harmonica categories.

An orphan at the age of nine, he was raised in Mississippi by his mentor, Sonny Boy Williamson, who remains famous for his many unique songs and innovative Delta Blues harmonica style. As a young teenager Cotton befriended Howlin’ Wolf and joined forces with him playing Mississippi and Arkansas juke joints for two years. During that time Cotton hosted his own afternoon radio show in West Memphis, AR and also recorded “Cotton Crop Blues” and three other songs on Sun Records in Memphis. In 1954 when Muddy Waters needed a harmonica player, he found Cotton playing a club in Arkansas and took him to Chicago. Cotton remained a member of Waters band for 12 years not only playing shows but also recording with him on Chess Records. One of the highlights of that period came when Cotton arranged the ever-popular anthem of the blues, “Got My Mojo Workin’, “ which was played for the first time by the Muddy Waters Band at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1961.

In 1966 Cotton formed the James Cotton Blues Band. His 1974 album, 100% Cotton, began the crossover funk, rock-oriented sound that is the contemporary Chicago Blues. The band continues to showcase his immense talent which is defined by his signature unmatched harmonica tone combined with a drummer’s acute sense of time and rhythm. At age 75 he is still a force to be reckoned with. He’s one of the most sought-after, hard-driving, seminal blues musicians touring the world today.

He has shared the stage with B.B. King, Santana, Steve Miller, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Sam and Dave, the Grateful Dead, ad infinitum. He is the only musician alive today who has played with Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf, and Muddy Waters.

Cotton passionately explains, ”My audience always tells me how I’m doing. If I look out there and don’t like what I see, I work harder.” After all these years he feels his audience has become part of his family, still standing, and enjoying his performances as much as he does. You will have a memorable evening with an international treasure and a true Living Legend of the Blues.

His current Alligator Records CD, GIANT, is a ferocious blast of brash power blues from Cotton and his touring band.

Tickets available at Door ... Doors Open @ 6:30pm ...

Tickets Available at the Door

Grammy award winner & Hall-Of-Famer, JAMES COTTON, performs "Live" In Concert! Don't miss the opportunity to see a true "living legend" up close and personal.

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JAMES COTTON "Live" In Concert /wsg Wailin & East

Saturday, May 11 · Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Callahans Music Hall

Tickets Available at the Door