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35th Anniversary Jam

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: 35th Anniversary Jam

Artist: James Cotton
Genre: Blues
Release Date: May 2002

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
4 stars out of 4

It's been over 35 years since James Cotton left the Muddy Waters band. Now a celebration is in order! The James Cotton Blues Band and several big names from the world of the blues join Cotton and his crackerjack band playing some of the best foot stompin', barn burnin', hootin' and hollerin' harp filled blues you will hear east, west, south, and north of the Mississippi. Cotton's voice has suffered some wear and tear over the years due to singing, tobacco, and other substances otherwise foreign to the body. He didn't have to do anything but play that harmonica on this jam session though, as the vocal duties were put in capable hands. His harp playing is like wine…its aging with grace, color, and perfection.

"The Creeper" is a real jam session with Cotton blowing like a brisk carefree youngster. At one point during the song he breaks into "Jingle Bells" for a short time! I think that is why this grand old man of the blues always sounds so fresh and young, he thinks and plays that way. Its more than evident he inspires everyone around him to do the same. His energy is contagious. You can see him smiling right through his spirited harp playing. As the song "All Walks Of Life" intimates, James Cotton's music brings us all together from all over the planet to celebrate life and music. The power of music and a well placed lyric can change the world. The blues has been around a mighty long time, and it's the great players like Cotton that keep it alive and pass it on to the younger generations to do the same.

Yeah baby, this is da blues…straight up with no chaser.

1. Don't Start Me Talking (Kenny Neal, vocal)
2. The Creeper
3. I've Got A Feeling (Koko Taylor, vocal)
4. Cotton Crop Blues (Lucky Peterson, vocal and guitar; Derek O'Brien, rhythm guitar
5. Fatuation (Bobby Rush, vocal)
6. How Long Can A Fool Go Wrong (Shemekai Copeland, vocal)
7. Rocket 88 (Syl Johnson, vocal; Jimmie Vaughan , guitar)
8. Blues In My Sleep (G.E. Smith, guitar)
9. River's Invitation (Kim Wilson, vocal and harp)
10. All Walks Of Life (Maria Muldaur, vocal; Tab Benoit, guitar)
11. Hold Me Baby (Ronnie Hawkins, vocal; Jimmie Vaughan, guitar)
12. Blues For The Hook (Jimmie Vaughan, guitar) (Dedicated John Lee Hooker)

James Cotton-harmonica
Mike Williams-rhythm guitar
David Maxwell-piano
Noel Neal-bass
Per Hanson-drums
Guests-see track listing



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