James COTTON – 35th Anniversary Jam 2002


James COTTON – 35th Anniversary Jam 2002
Recorded at The Studio, Portland, Maine in June 2001
35th ANNIVERSARY JAM was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Blues Album.

Blues

Don’t complain that there are too many guests here, that’s what this jam was all about, inviting a bunch of friends and kindred spirits to jam in the studio during June of 2001. These musicians were here to salute not just the great James Cotton and his songs, but the long life of his classic James Cotton Blues Band, by playing some of their greatest songs and having a good time. And that’s what this is — a good jam session, performed with heart and vigor. Some of the guests might be a bit better than others, but the band is lively, there’s more grit than you’d expect for an all-digital production, and Cotton has moments where he simply smokes. He’s constantly a joy to hear; listen to how he breaks into “Jingle Bells” during “The Creeper” and try not to smile. Sure, this isn’t the first James Cotton album you should get, or even the fifth, but if you’ve been a longtime fan, you’ll have fun with this.
By Stephen Thomas Erlewine.
**
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.
By Keith  Hannaleck.
**
James Cotton- Harmonica,
Mike Williams- Rhythm Guitar,
David Maxwell- Piano,
Noel Neal- Bass,
Per Hanson- Drums.
Guests;
Lucky Peterson- (Vocals, Guitar),
Kim Wilson- (Vocals, Harp),
Shemekia- Copeland, Ronnie Hawkins, Bobby Rush, Syl Johnson, Maria Muldaur, Kenny Neal, Koko Taylor (Vocals),
Mike Williams, Tab Benoit, G.E. Smith, Jimmie Vaughn (Guitar).
**
01. Don’t Start Me Talking (Kenny Neal, vocal)  3.26
02. The Creeper  5.00
03. I’ve Got A Feeling (Koko Taylor, vocal)  4.56
04. Cotton Crop Blues (Lucky Peterson, vocal and guitar; Derek O’Brien, rhythm guitar)  4.09
05. Fatuation (Bobby Rush, vocal)  3.54
06. How Long Can A Fool Go Wrong (Shemekai Copeland, vocal)  3.35
07. Rocket 88 (Syl Johnson, vocal; Jimmie Vaughan , guitar)  3.02
08. Blues In My Sleep (G.E. Smith, guitar)  7.05
09. River’s Invitation (Kim Wilson, vocal and harp)  4.53
10. All Walks Of Life (Maria Muldaur, vocal; Tab Benoit, guitar)  2.28
11. Hold Me Baby (Ronnie Hawkins, vocal; Jimmie Vaughan, guitar)  4.24
12. Blues For The Hook (Jimmie Vaughan, guitar) (Dedicated John Lee Hooker)  6.09
**


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